Ukrainian officials say a six-year-old boy among those killed in attack, which appeared to be one of the deadliest in months.
Ukrainian officials say at least 49 people have been killed in a Russian missile assault on a village in the country’s northeast, in what seemed to be one of the deadliest such attacks in months.
Oleh Syniehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, said the afternoon strike on Thursday hit a cafe and a store in the village of Hroza, about 30km (20 miles) west of the front line town of Kupiansk, with many civilians present at the time of the attack.
He added that a six-year-old child was among the dead.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said residents of the small village of about 330 people had been holding a memorial service in the cafe that was struck.
“From every family, from every household, there were people present at this commemoration. This is a terrible tragedy,” Klymenko told Ukrainian television.
There was no immediate comment by Russia, which in the past has denied hitting civilian targets.
‘Deliberate terrorist attack’
Footage released by Ukrainian authorities showed rescue workers sifting through piles of rubble, with bodies coated in dust laid out next to the site of the attack.
“The brutal Russian crime of hitting an ordinary grocery store with a rocket is a completely deliberate terrorist attack,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement posted on social media.
I’ve just visited Kharkiv, the city of 1.2 million people. Border with Russia is less than 40 km away. Less than 3 minutes for a S-300 missile. Russia terrorizes the city with them and has already destroyed thousands of houses, schools, universities, power plants, and transport.
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 5, 2023
Zelenskyy’s comments came as he attended a summit of European leaders in the Spanish city of Granada, where he called on Western countries to redouble their support for Ukraine’s war effort and air defence systems.
“Russian terror should be stopped,” he said.