Ukraine President accuses Russia of ‘state terrorism’ in Kharkiv

Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Kharkiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that Russian artillery attacks on Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv amounted to state terrorism and called on the international community to recognize it as such.

The terror aims to break us, to break our resistance, he said in a video address shared on social media describing Kyiv and Kharkiv as Russia’s main targets.

Meanwhile, A missile hit the square in front of a regional government building in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city and former capital, on Tuesday amid Russia’s military operation.

CCTV video posted on social media shows a missile-shaped projectile causing a massive explosion, RT reported.

Ukrainian emergency services said it was an airstrike carried out by Russian forces, and urged locals to seek shelter. RT was unable to independently verify this claim.

Emergency services said six people were injured, including a child.

The incident occurred after reports of intense shelling in the city on Monday. Kharkiv is located roughly 40km (24 miles) from the border with Russia. Ukraine previously reported combat with Russian troops advancing on the city.

Moscow has not commented on the strike as of yet. Russia previously insisted that it was only hitting military targets, such as airfields and radar stations.

Russia attacked the neighbouring state last week, arguing that it was defending the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which broke off from Ukraine following the 2014 coup in Kiev. Ukraine said the attack was entirely unprovoked and called on the international community for help.

Meanwhile, more than 660,000 people, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries in the last six days since Russia invaded, the U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday.

Shabia Mantoo, spokesperson of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a briefing in Geneva there were reports of people waiting for up to 60 hours to enter Poland, while queues at the Romanian border are up to 20 km long.