KROPYVNYTSKY – Five people are killed and 25 wounded in a Russian strike on a flight school in Ukraine’s city of Kropyvnytski. Two missiles struck hangars in the central city, the regional governor says.
Meanwhile, a Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kherson is gathering pace, UK defense officials say. A key bridge into the southern city is out of action after Ukrainian forces struck it with long-range rockets. The MoD adds Kherson – the first city to fall to Russian forces – is now “virtually cut off from other occupied territories”
Russian forces say they have captured Ukraine’s second-largest power station, while a base north of Kyiv has also been attacked.
Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska tells the BBC her country is “under constant stress” from the invasion. A Russian court finds a former state TV journalist guilty of discrediting the armed forces by protesting against Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
In the meanwhile, the unmistakable boom of shellfire echoed around the bomb-scarred buildings of western Kharkiv as the mayor of Ukraine’s one-time Soviet capital prepared for his interview. Yet the explosion in the suburb of Pisochyn barely registered in a city that has been a key focus of the Russian invasion, its hardest-hit districts pounded to ruins. “The Russian aggressors are trying to turn Kharkiv into a pitiful city, like the ones they have in Russia,” Igor Terekhov told AFP in a cafe in the city centre. “But they won’t succeed. And, as you see, the people of Kharkiv are defending their city, weapons in hand,” the Russian-speaking official said through an interpreter. Elected in November last year, the 55-year-old soon found himself staring down the combined might of tens of thousands of Russian troops pouring over the border, which at its closest is just 30 kilometres (20 miles) away.
Kharkiv — Ukraine’s second biggest city — was besieged from the first days of the full-scale conflict.
It looked as if it would quickly fall to invading Russian troops, who were backed by massive artillery fire and missile strikes.
Ukrainian forces managed to stem the advance, pushing the invading force back from the outskirts of the city.
But the Russians remain dug in just a few kilometres away, leaving most of Kharkiv vulnerable to shelling.
“We have nine districts in the city and they are all being bombed with varying intensity and at different times. So you can’t say anywhere in Kharkiv is safe,” he said.
“Yes, it is safe in the shelters and it is safe in the metro… But there is no district, no place in the city, where you can claim it is totally safe.”