Russia has launched a missile attack on the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. The attack took place in the heart of the city, Freedom Square, on Tuesday morning, local time, according to the BBC. Government offices there are believed to have been targeted.
The video, spread on Ukraine’s social media channels, shows a missile hitting the front of a regional administrative building. The blast ripped through windows and cars in several nearby buildings.
Video footage after the attack showed burnt cars and rubble lying in the heart of the city. The bomber struck shortly after 8 a.m. local time. No casualties have been reported so far in the incident. The BBC has verified the authenticity of the video.
Kharkiv is home to 1.7 million people. Clashes and airstrikes between Ukrainian and Russian forces have been raging in the city for days. Today, Kharkiv’s regional head, Ole Sinehubov, complained that Russian forces were firing Grad missiles at residential areas. It is a type of missile system mounted on a truck that is capable of firing multiple rounds at once.
Meanwhile, Jack Watling, a researcher on ground warfare and military science at the Royal United Service Institute, said Russia had increased its military presence inside Ukraine from 40 to about 75 percent.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that a large part of the Russian army was advancing south from Belarus. They are taking a position like conducting an operation in Kiev.
Meanwhile, US-based private space technology company Maxar Technologies claims that Russia is increasing its military presence north of Kiev. A 40-mile-long convoy of Russian troops had gathered there. Maxar claimed that such an image was captured on a satellite on Monday, local time. Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Russian army was 16 miles long.