Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv yesterday reeled from a deadly onslaught of Russian shelling as Moscow pressed its offensive to capture key points in the eastern Donbas region with more bombing of residential areas.
The pounding of Kharkiv, which local officials said left at least nine people dead, raised fears that Russia had not lost interest in the city even after Ukraine took back control after fierce battles.
Over three months after Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24 — and which has left thousands dead on both sides and displaced millions of Ukrainians — Moscow is focusing on the east of Ukraine after failing in its initial ambition to capture Kyiv.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday reiterated accusations that Moscow is carrying out a “genocide” in Donbas, saying its bombardment could leave the entire region “uninhabited.”
Kharkiv Governor Oleg Sinegubov said that nine civilians had been killed in the Russian shelling on Thursday.
A five-month-old child and her father were among the dead, while her mother was gravely wounded, he said on social media channels.
An Agence France-Presse reporter in the city said that the northern residential district of Pavlove Pole was hit and saw plumes of smoke rising from the area.
The journalist saw several people wounded near a shuttered shopping center, while an elderly man with injuries to his arm and leg was carried away by medics.
Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov said the northeastern city’s metro, which resumed work this week after being used mainly as a shelter since the Russian invasion, would continue operating, but also offer a safe space for residents.
In Donbas, Russian forces were closing in on several cities, including strategically located Severodonetsk and Lysychansk which stand on the crucial route to Ukraine’s eastern administrative center in Kramatorsk.
Pro-Russian separatists said they had captured the town of Lyman, which lies between Severodonetsk and Kramatorsk and is on the road leading to the key cities that are still under Kyiv’s control.
Lugansk Governor Sergiy Gaiday said in a video on Telegram that at least five civilians had been killed in the Lugansk region — part of Donbas — in the past 24 hours.
Four had been killed in Severodonetsk and another in Komyshovakha 50km outside Severodonetsk, he said, adding that Russia was “ceaselessly shelling residential areas.”
In Kramatorsk, children roamed the rubble left by Russian attacks as the sound of artillery fire boomed.
“I am not scared,” said Yevgen, a somber-looking 13-year-old who moved to Kramatorsk with his mother from the ruins of his village Galyna.
“I got used to the shelling,” he said as he sat alone on a slab of a destroyed apartment block.
An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft has acquired imagery data covering all of Mars, including visuals of its south pole, after circling the planet more than 1,300 times since early last year, state media reported yesterday. The Tianwen-1 successfully reached the Red Planet in February last year on the country’s inaugural mission there. A robotic rover has since been deployed on the surface as an orbiter surveyed the planet from space. Among the images taken from space were China’s first photographs of the Martian south pole, where almost all of the planet’s water resources are locked. In 2018, an orbiting probe operated by the European
TRADE TALK: Xiao Qian said that Australia had fired the ‘first shot’ in deteriorating trade relations with China, but improvements were possible if Canberra takes action China’s new ambassador to Australia chided protesters who heckled him yesterday during a speech about the future of relations between the two countries. Xiao Qian (肖千), who has only been in the role since January, had just begun his speech at the University of Technology Sydney when the first protesters interjected, calling for freedom for Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. The ambassador was repeatedly interrupted by sign-wielding protesters, some criticizing China’s treatment of the Uighur people as well as the university for inviting Xiao to speak. “People who are coming again and again to interrupt the process, that’s not expression of freedom of
QUARANTINE SHORTENED: A new protocol detailing risk levels and local policy responses would be ‘more scientific and accurate,’ a health agency spokesman said China’s revised COVID-19 guidelines, which cut a quarantine requirement in half for inbound travelers, also create a standardized policy for mass testing and lockdowns when cases of the disease flare, showing that the country still has a zero-tolerance approach to the virus. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) solidified the position during a trip to Wuhan, where the pathogen first emerged in 2019, saying that China is capable of achieving a “final victory” over the virus. The “zero COVID-19” policy is the most effective and economic approach for the country, Xi said during the trip on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. The first
A former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber who risked jail time to leave Seoul and fight for Ukraine said it would have been a “crime” not to use his skills to help. Ken Rhee, a former special warfare officer, signed up at the Ukrainian embassy in Seoul the moment Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked for global volunteers and was fighting on the front lines near Kyiv by early March. To get there, he had to break South Korean law — Seoul banned its citizens from traveling to Ukraine, and Rhee, who was injured in a fall while leading a special operations