New Delhi, Jan 11: Two Russian missiles targeted a hotel in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, resulting in injuries to 11 people, as reported by Governor Oleh Synehubov. The injured individuals, which included Turkish journalists, were taken to the hospital after the attack occurred at approximately 22:30 local time. This incident marks an escalation in Russia's intensified air strikes on Ukrainian cities over the past two weeks.
Kharkiv, situated just 30 km from the Russian border, has endured substantial damage from Russian air strikes since President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Ukrainian officials report a growing toll on civilians, with numerous casualties resulting from drone and missile attacks.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian missiles and drones struck the Russian city of Belgorod, located 74 km north of Kharkiv, on December 30. Russian officials reported 25 civilian casualties from the attack. In response to potential threats, Russia has initiated the relocation of hundreds of Belgorod children to holiday camps situated farther from the Ukrainian border.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a visit to Lithuania on Wednesday, urged Western allies to provide increased air defence weapons to enhance Kyiv's resistance against Russian forces. Lithuania, a staunch ally of Ukraine, has been a significant donor of military aid in terms of GDP, while the United States remains the largest contributor to Ukraine's defence efforts.
As tensions persist and hostilities escalate, the international community closely watches the developments, grappling with the urgent need for diplomatic solutions and humanitarian interventions to mitigate the impact on civilians caught in the crossfire.