World

Seven killed in Russian drone strike on Ukrainian city

At least three children were among the dead in Kharkiv.

Children were among the dead (AP)
Fire storm in Kharkiv Children were among the dead (AP) (Yevhen Titov/AP)

A Russian drone strike on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, killed seven people overnight, including three children, officials said.

Three others sustained injuries, according to Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syniehubov.

He said at least 10 drones were launched at Kharkiv, eight of which were shot down. Civilian infrastructure in the Nemyshlyan district of the city was hit, causing a massive fire that burned down 15 private houses.

A dozen private houses came under fire (AP)
Fire is tackled A dozen private houses came under fire (AP) (Andrii Marienko/AP)

Mr Syniehubov said that an oil depot was struck, causing fuel to leak out, which prompted the fire.

In a Facebook post, Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Police, cited a local resident as seeing “a true hell: first the fuel flowed, then everything caught fire”.

Mr Bolvinov said a family of five – including children aged seven, four, and nine months – were burned alive, trapped in their house as the fire raged. Two other adults were killed by the blaze in another house that burned down, he said.

Interior minister Ihor Klymenko said more than 50 people had been evacuated and that emergency workers had contained the blaze by Saturday morning.

In an online statement, President Volodymyr Zelensky offered his condolences to the relatives of all the victims and said: “Terror can’t remain unpunished. Terror can’t remain without a fair response.

The strike caused what one official described as ‘hell’ in Kharkiv, Ukraine (AP)
Fire in Kharkiv The strike caused what one official described as ‘hell’ in Kharkiv, Ukraine (AP) (Yevhen Titov/AP)

“Terrorists must lose this war they had started. Russia must be held accountable for every life it ruined and destroyed.”

The Ukrainian air force said air defence systems destroyed 23 out of 31 Iranian Shahed drones launched by Russia overnight. The drones primarily targeted the north-eastern Kharkiv region and the southern province of Odesa, the statement said.

Odesa regional governor Oleh Kiper said four people were injured there by the overnight drone attacks.


The attacks came in three waves, he said.

The first targeted the regional capital – the port city of Odesa. All nine drones were shot down, but the debris damaged port infrastructure and injured one person.

The second and the third waves targeted port infrastructure in the Danube river area, Mr Kiper said. A total of 12 drones were shot down and three people were injured.

An entire family were burned to death, officials said (AP)
Fire in Kharkiv An entire family were burned to death, officials said (AP) (Yevhen Titov/AP)

Romania’s ministry of national defence said that Russia carried out overnight drone attacks on Ukraine’s river ports of Ismail and Reni, near the border with Romania.

The ministry said that an F-16 jet of the Turkish air force was deployed from a Romanian air base at around 1.15am (11.15pm on Friday GMT) to carry out “reconnaissance missions” in national air space to monitor the situation.

Text alerts were also issued to residents in two counties adjacent to the attacks.

Nato member Romania has discovered drone debris on its territory several times before, following sustained attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure as Moscow attempted to disrupt Kyiv’s ability to export grain and other produce to world markets.

The Russian defence ministry, in the meantime, accused Ukraine of targeting Russia’s civilian transport vessels in the Black Sea with sea drones on Friday evening. One such drone was destroyed, the ministry said, and others were jammed, with no damage to the ships.

The ministry did not say how many sea drones were used or how many ships were targeted. There was no immediate comment from Kyiv’s officials on the alleged attack.