More than 50 people were killed as a result of a Russian missile attack on the Kupyansky District in the Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine. The attacked village, according to the Interior Ministry, had about 330 inhabitants. This is an “absolutely conscious terrorist act,” said President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The head of the Kharkiv Oblast authorities, Oleg Synehubov, said that the Russians attacked the village of Hroza, located 86 kilometers east of Kharkov, at around 1:15 p.m. local time (12:15 p.m. in Poland).
He specified that the missile hit a cafe and a grocery store. He noted that many people were in the area at the time of the attack.
According to the latest report provided by Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko, 51 people died in the attack, including a seven-year-old child. At least seven people are injured. Among them is a six-year-old girl.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that, according to preliminary findings, an Iskander ballistic missile landed on the village – with about 330 inhabitants. Before 4 p.m., the ministry announced that 29 victims had been identified. The services are searching the rubble.
“A spectacularly brutal Russian crime”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is in Spanish Granada as part of a meeting of the European Political Community, commented on the attack on Telegram. “A spectacularly brutal Russian crime: a rocket hitting an ordinary grocery store, an absolutely deliberate terrorist act. Kupyansky district of the Kharkiv region,” he wrote, expressing condolences to the victims’ relatives.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine noted, in turn, that “the terrorists deliberately carried out the attack at lunchtime to cause as many casualties as possible.” “There were no military objectives there. It is a hideous crime aimed at intimidating Ukrainians,” it was emphasized. Klymenko, in turn, reported that there was a dinner at the site after the funeral of one of the residents.
The Kharkiv Oblast has been on the front line since the Russian armed invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022. Kupyansk is located in the eastern part of the region and was a major supply hub for Russian forces after the invasion began. Last September, Kiev announced that it had regained part of the Kharkiv Oblast after months of fighting.
Olena Shapoval, spokeswoman for the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, quoted by Suspilne-Kharkiv, stated that the attack in the village of Hroza resulted in the highest number of civilian deaths in the Kharkiv region since the beginning of Russia’s open invasion of Ukraine.
Due to the tragedy, the regional authorities announced three days of mourning. “Three days, from October 6 to 8, will be days of mourning,” Oleh Synehubov said.
Main photo source: PAP/Mykola Kalyeniak