Artillery types

Dozens likely killed as Kharkiv, Ukraine hit by Russian artillery fire

Ukrainian authorities believe dozens of people were killed in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, after Russian forces attacked on Monday.

The attack comes five days after the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Russian troops targeted their artillery fire on residential neighborhoods, Reuters reported, increasing violence in the region as Ukrainian and Russian officials began their first round of peace talks.

A video taken in Kharkiv circulating on social media shows Grad missiles raining down on the city. Another video shows the missiles falling mainly on apartment buildings.

According to Action on Armed Violence, the Grad – the Russian word for “hail” – can fire 40 122mm rockets over a wide area in just 20 seconds. Wounds from these types of missiles are often fatal, usually affecting the ears, lungs, or gastrointestinal tract.

In a Facebook post, Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, said that in addition to the likely dozens of deaths, hundreds were injured.

“It’s a war, a real war,” Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov told Ukrainian media.

An unnamed US defense official said it appears Russia’s strategy is to take the city by encircling it, adding that Pentagon officials are “beginning to see the same kind of approach being applied to Kiev”, the capital of Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials said his forces were largely successful in holding off the Russians. A CBS News video shows Ukrainian soldiers fighting Russians in street battles and civilians blocking tanks, telling Russian soldiers to go home.

Authorities believe dozens of people were killed after Russian forces attacked the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Monday. Above, a Ukrainian BTR-4 armored personnel carrier was destroyed following fighting not far from the center of Kharkiv, about 50 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Russian border, on February 28, 2022.
Photo by Sergei Bobok/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky told the BBC the situation was “serious, but stable”.

“Every day the enemy sends more and more forces. But our glorious armed forces basically destroy everything that comes to Kiev,” he said. “Kiev remains the site of the main strike.”

Representatives of Ukraine and Russia met Monday at the Belarus-Ukraine border for the first round of peace talks. While officials said the key issue they would discuss was “immediate ceasefire and troop withdrawal from Ukraine”, the attacks continued.

On Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said the negotiations were proving “difficult”.

“Unfortunately, the Russian side is still extremely biased regarding the destructive processes it has launched,” he wrote.

Update 2/28/22, 3:39 PM ET: This story has been updated with additional information.