KYIV: The Ukraine military says Russian paratroopers have landed in its besieged second-largest city Kharkiv, according to sources. The Russian troops have parachuted into Kharkiv stepping up an attack on Ukraine`s second-largest city which saw dozens of civilian killings in bombings on Tuesday.
According to the Ukrainian military, the aerial assault began just as air raid sirens were starting to sound in Kharkiv and the surrounding region. The statement added that the Russian troops attacked a regional military hospital and that fighting is ongoing, sources.
Kharkiv has been the epicentre of much of the violence seen in Ukraine in recent days. At least 21 people have been killed and 112 wounded in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said on Wednesday.
The authorities have said that Russian missile attacks hit the centre of Ukraine`s second-largest city, including residential areas and the regional administration building.
On Tuesday, a missile struck the local government headquarters of Ukraine`s second-largest city around 08.00 local time, sending a massive fireball into the sky and burning cars and nearby buildings.
Another strike occurred later on Tuesday in one of Kharkiv`s residential neighbourhoods. Ukrainian President Zelensky later called the attack “a war crime”.
At least 17 people were killed in Kharkiv on Tuesday, and dozens were wounded, according to emergency officials. Some pundits have speculated that the artillery strikes on residential communities could be an effort by Russia to weaken the Ukrainian resolve to fight, BBC reported.
The smaller southern city of Kherson has also fallen to Russian forces, local Ukrainian officials say. The frontline cities of Kharkiv, Sumy and Mariupol are still holding out against the Russian invasion.
Meanwhile, the huge convoy of Russian armoured vehicles is now about 15 miles northwest of the capital Kyiv.