NORTHEAST UKRAINE – Shocking footage has been released Tuesday depicting a Russian missile strike obliterating a Ukrainian government building in Kharkiv – the country’s second-largest city, with a population of 1.5 million – as the invasion of the beleaguered European country enters its sixth day.
The video footage shows the Kharkiv Region State Administration Building in Freedom Square standing peacefully one moment with several cars driving in the street in front of it; by all appearances, it could have been just a normal day like any other. However, in an instant, the building is enveloped by a massive explosion, with one of the passing vehicles caught in the blast seen slowly coasting to a stop before its occupants emerge.
The building was struck by a second missile as rescuers arrived at the scene, taking out the roof and reducing approximately one-third of the Soviet-era building to rubble, according to Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko.
“Freedom Square was hit by a cruise missile,” he announced, adding that so far the attack had killed 10 and injured 35; however, those numbers are expected to go up as rescue crews continue working.
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“The rubble is being cleared and there will be even more victims and injured,” Herashchenko said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky deemed the horrifying attack a “war crime” in a Facebook video, noting that there were “no military targets” in Freedom Square.
“The strike against Kharkiv is a war crime. This is state terrorism on the part of Russia,” Zelensky said. “No one will forgive. No one will ever forget.”
The attack represents an escalation in Russia’s aggression during their invasion – which began last Thursday – after making reportedly little progress up until this point due to significantly stronger-than-expected resistance and supply chain issues resulting in food and gas shortages.