“ Russian terrorists must and will be held accountable for their actions, the perpetrators of such crimes must no longer go unpunished », Promised President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a message on the Telegram network.
According to local authorities, this attack carried out with Iranian-made Shahed drones hit a gas station and caused the spill of burning fuel, the fire quickly covering a large area and leading to the evacuation of around fifty people.
“ There was a boom, it caught fire, and in five minutes we had a river of fire », Testifies a resident. According to regional governor Oleg Synegoubov, seven people died in this attack, including three children: a seven-year-old, a four-year-old and a six-month-old baby. Four people, including a child, were saved from the flames and around fifteen houses were destroyed.
“ There was a family in one of the houses – five people. Two parents and three of their children. They are all dead, burned alive. In another building, there was a man who could no longer walk. His wife took care of him. They also died, burned alive “, said Serguii Bolvinov, a Kharkiv police official. The youngest boy was 10 months old, the oldest 7 years old. Their bodies were found near their mother. The youngest son, 5 years old, undoubtedly wanted to follow his father and his body was found alone, in the kitchen.
According to him, around 3,800 tonnes of fuel were stored in this service station which was also an oil depot.
“The houses along the street started to catch fire”
“ The whole street turned into an infernal molten mass. As the fuel mixed with the snow and began to burn, houses along the street began to catch fire “, explained Mr. Bolvinov. “ Our anger is absolute. These people will pay for everything “, the head of the presidential administration Andriï Iermak exclaimed on Telegram.
Saturday’s attack comes after a series of nighttime strikes in Kharkiv and further east, in the town of Velykyi Burlouk.
The governor of the Kharkiv region had previously said that civilian areas had been affected in both localities, including a cafe in Velykyi Burlouk. Elsewhere in Ukraine, two people were killed and two others injured in a Russian strike on the village of Veletynske in the southern Kherson region, the regional administration said.
Russian drone strikes also targeted Odessa, a large Black Sea port, leaving four people injured by fragments of downed vehicles, according to Governor Oleg Kiper. In Izmail, on the Danube, the strikes destroyed industrial installations, he added.
Macron soon to visit
In total, 23 of the 31 explosive drones launched by Russia on the Kharkiv and Odessa regions were destroyed in flight, the Air Force said. The Ukrainian head of state also indicated on Saturday that he had spoken with his French counterpart about Ukraine’s needs in arms and ammunition, in the run-up to a visit by Emmanuel Macron to Ukraine announced for the month of FEBRUARY. Volodymyr Zelensky thanked France for its support “ unwavering “.
Mr. Macron “ reiterated France’s determination to provide all the necessary support, over the long term and with all of its partners, to defeat Russia’s war of aggression », indicated the French presidency. The two countries are finalizing a bilateral security agreement.