Russian Drone Strike Claims Lives in Kharkiv, Including Children
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Firefighters work at the site of a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine Feb. 10, 2024. Photo by Sofiia Gatilova/Reuters

By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

KYIV, Ukraine In a tragic turn of events, a Russian drone strike on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has resulted in the loss of seven lives, including three children. Kharkiv region governor Oleh Syniehubov reported the devastating incident on Saturday, highlighting the toll of the aerial assault.

According to Syniehubov, the overnight attack involved at least 10 drones, eight of which were successfully intercepted. The Nemyshlyan district of Kharkiv faced severe damage to civilian infrastructure, leading to a massive fire that engulfed 15 private houses. An oil depot was struck, causing fuel leakage and contributing to the intensification of the blaze.

Tragically, a family of five, including children aged 7, 4, and nine months, perished in their home as the fire spread uncontrollably. Two additional adults lost their lives in a separate house that succumbed to the flames. The scale of the disaster prompted an evacuation effort, with more than 50 people rescued.

Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Police, described the horrifying scene witnessed by a resident, who recounted the initial flow of fuel followed by a devastating inferno.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko reported that emergency responders managed to contain the fire by Saturday morning, averting further catastrophe. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed condolences to the victims’ relatives, emphasizing the need for accountability and a just response to acts of terror.

In response to the drone attacks, the Ukrainian Air Force deployed air defense systems that successfully neutralized 23 out of 31 Iranian Shahed drones launched by Russia. The northeastern Kharkiv region and the southern province of Odesa were the primary targets, resulting in injuries and damage.

Odesa regional governor Oleh Kiper revealed that four people were injured in the drone attacks. The assaults occurred in three waves, with the initial targeting of Odesa and subsequent waves focusing on port infrastructure in the Danube River area.

Romania’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed that Russia conducted drone attacks on Ukraine’s river ports of Ismail and Reni, near the Romanian border. In response, a Turkish Air Force F-16 jet conducted reconnaissance missions to monitor the situation. Romania, a NATO member, has been vigilant against drone-related threats following previous attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of targeting Russia’s civilian transport vessels in the Black Sea with sea drones. The ministry reported the destruction of one such drone and the jamming of others, with no reported damage to the vessels. Kyiv has not yet commented on the alleged sea drone attack.

As tensions escalate, the international community closely watches the evolving situation, emphasizing the urgency for diplomatic efforts to bring about a resolution and prevent further loss of innocent lives.

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