War in Ukraine: Blood transfusion centre in Kharkiv hit by Russian attack as three killed

President Volodymyr Zelensky described the attack as a ‘war crime’ by ‘beasts’ after a night of intense shelling in Ukraine

Maanya Sachdeva
Sunday 06 August 2023 22:39 BST
Ukraine: Moment camera operator runs for safety during shelling in Donetsk

Three people have been killed and a blood transfusion centre in Ukraine destroyed, as Russia unleashed a missile and drone barrage in retaliation to attacks on its naval vessels in the Black Sea earlier this week.

Kyiv’s Air Force said on Sunday that Moscow had launched a multi-wave overnight attack on Ukraine, with 70 air-assault weapons, including cruise and hypersonic missiles as well as Iranian-made drones.

“We managed to shoot down a significant number of these,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said, in his nightly address.

Russia Ukraine Fog of War
Russia Ukraine Fog of War (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The air force confirmed at least 10 cruise missiles appear to have pierced through their defences.

Mr Zelensky said that a Russian guided air bomb had hit the medical facility in the town of Kupiansk near Kharkiv.

He called the attack a “war crime” by “beasts” in a post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

“This war crime alone says everything about Russian aggression,” Mr Zelensky wrote. “Defeating terrorists is a matter of honor for everyone who values life.”

The head of the local regional military administration in Kharkiv, Oleh Syniehubov, said two people had died and four others had been injured in the attack on Saturday night.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the Moscow-appointed mayor of Donetsk, Alexei Kulemi, said one woman in her eighties had also been killed in Ukrainian shelling of the city on Saturday.

Serhiy Tyurin, deputy head of Ukraine’s Khmelnytsky region military administration, said three waves of missiles hit the Starokostiantyniv area, damaging several buildings and igniting a fire at a warehouse.

The strike may have been intended for the city’s airfield, officials said.

Mr Zelensky said the facilities of aircraft engine manufacturer Motor Sich in the Zaporizhzhia region had also come under attack.

This barrage came after a Ukrainian drone hit a Russian tanker in the Black Sea near Crimea late Friday.

Kyiv also struck a major Russian commerical port earlier the same day.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, Maria Zakharova condemned what she said was a Ukrainian “terrorist attack” on the vessel in Kerch Strait, adding that “there can be no justification for such barbaric actions”.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (EPA)

“They will not go unanswered and their authors and perpetrators will inevitably be punished,” Zakharova posted on the Telegram messaging app.

Amid heavy fighting over the weekend, Ukraine ramped up its attacks on Russian infrastructure.

The Moscow-appointed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov said the Chonhar road bridge linking mainland Ukraine to Crimea was damaged by a Ukrainian missile strike on Sunday.

The attack came less than 24 hours after a Ukrainian sea drone full of explosives damaged a Russian fuel tanker near the Crimean Bridge.

Meanwhile, talks on the Ukraine conflict were concluded in Jeddah on Sunday, with the participants agreeing on the importance of continuing consultations to pave the way for peace, according to a closing statement released by Saudi Arabia.

Over 40 countries, including China, India, and the US, but not Russia, participated in the summit, as a senior Ukrainian official said the talks had been “productive” while Moscow branded it a doomed attempt to swing the Global South behind Kyiv.

Additional reporting from agencies.

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