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NewsRussian attack on Kharkiv shopping centre ‘utterly unacceptable’, says senior UN official

Russian attack on Kharkiv shopping centre ‘utterly unacceptable’, says senior UN official

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United Nations News
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An attack by Russian armed forces on a busy shopping centre in Kharkiv on Saturday reportedly killed at least four people and injured around 40.

Denise Brown, the UN Humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, strongly condemned the strike and called for civilians to be protected.

“I am appalled and shocked by the terrifying news arriving from Kharkiv”, said Ms. Brown in a statement. “This afternoon, in broad daylight as people – despite all the horrors they endure every day in this city – were trying to go about their day, their lives were shattered by yet another attack by the Russian Armed Forces. The strike hit a busy shopping centre with scores of civilian casualties and massive damage to civilian facilities”.

The senior UN official added that attacks by Russian forces hitting civilians and civilian infrastructure must stop, and noted that intentionally directing an attack against civilian infrastructure is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law. 

Attack on residential area of Kharkiv on Saturday 25 May
Humanitarian Mission Proliska – Attack on residential area of Kharkiv on Saturday 25 May

The strike is reported to have hit the Epicentr K home improvement store in the north of the city. In a social media post, the mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, described it as “pure terrorism”. According to UN sources, a second attack on Saturday is believed to have caused some 12 casualties.  

Following Russian advances, the northeastern Kharkiv region is now on the frontline of the war in Ukraine. According to a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office, about 35 civilians in the region have been killed and 137 injured since Russian armed forces launched cross-border attacks on 10 May; more than half of those killed and injured were over 60 years old and were unable or unwilling to leave their homes.

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