Ukraine: Civilian buildings in Kharkiv in the crossfire of Russian bombing
On February 26, the Russian Defense Ministry said it would not target Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. However, in recent days, Russian air strikes have hit many apartment buildings in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, and many civilians have been killed.
This video was filmed for the CCTV camera of the Kharkiv regional administrative building being hit by a shell. The date and time of the bombing is shown: Tuesday, March 1, 8 a.m. (local time), which indicates its authenticity.
A missile strike on the administration building in Kharkiv which reportedly also destroyed the Slovenian Consulate according to MatttiMaasikas pic.twitter.com/OxVC5PYUK9
– ELINT News (ELINTNews) March 1, 2022 This excerpt from a surveillance video was posted on Telegram on March 1, 2022. Freezing the video frame helped us identify a missile or missile in front of the building. Although we were not able to determine the exact model of the weapon, our team was able to conclude that it is at least six meters long. So it could be a Russian long-range missile, or a Kalibr cruise missile, both of which are in Russia’s arsenal. The Russian Defense Ministry denied the bombing of the regional administrative building in Kharkiv and claimed that it targeted only military infrastructure.
The building of the Kharkiv Regional Administration was hit by a Russian strike on March 1, 2022. In this surveillance video screenshot, the missile is roughly the size of two stories of the building. Therefore, we estimated that it was about six metres. Telegram damage inside the building is significant. This video, released by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, shows a hole in the ceiling above the person doing the filming.
“Визволителі” Харкова поливають ракетами його центр. Як повідомляють у ДСНС, за попередньої інформацією, є влучання в будівлю Харківської ОДА, оперного театру, філармонії та частину житлового масиву (переважно 4-5 поверхові житлові будинки). pic.twitter.com/4L9xuKW8Cp
– ВОЇНИ УКРАЇНИ🇺🇦 (ArmedForcesUkr) March 1, 2022 This video posted on Telegram on March 1 shows the damage to the administration building that was targeted by the raids. The cars were destroyed in the collision and the field was badly damaged. Our team validated a third video posted by the Ukrainian rescue services. It was filmed in Freedom Square, right in front of the administration building.
⚡️ State emergency service: 6 people were injured in a missile attack in the center of Kharkiv, including a child.
The missile strike hit Freedom Square in Kharkiv on the morning of March 1, causing damage to the administration building of the Kharkiv Territory.
Video: State Emergency Service pic.twitter.com/r7NePb4h5V
– KyivIndependent March 1, 2022 A video released by the Ukrainian rescue services shows the damage caused by the strike on the regional administration building in Kharkiv. In the video published by the rescue service (above), several features of Freedom Square in Kharkiv (below) can be identified. Rescue Services/Ukrainian Observers Jowharmonitors spoke with Maria, a resident of Kharkiv, who is currently hiding in a shelter with her family after hearing the explosions on Tuesday morning.
Every day we hear the sirens and eagerly await the air strikes. We hear rocket launchers and then rockets flying overhead. This morning we heard what sounded like an airplane, and right after that we heard an explosion. A little later we found out that Freedom Square had been hit.
“The neighborhood where our apartment is located was bombed […] I never thought that something like this would happen one day in the district of my city Maria in the center of Kharkiv was also bombed. Fortunately, she left her apartment on the first day of the Russian invasion on February 24.
Yesterday, the neighborhood where our apartment is located was bombed. Injuries occurred. My ex-classmate had to give first aid to her neighbor who had broken glass. Now I can’t go and check [my apartment] Because you can hear the sirens every hour and it is very dangerous to walk around. I have two kids, and I can’t take that risk. I never thought that something like this would ever happen in my city.
Several residential areas in Kharkiv were also affected by the fighting. Amateur footage shows a fire and smashed windows in a building in Novo Pvarsky, a district in eastern Kharkiv, near a transport equipment factory.
Military experts suspect the use of cluster bombs On Monday, February 28, a warehouse in Kharkiv was also targeted by rocket fire in the middle of a residential area, as shown in the following two videos posted on Twitter.
We were unable to confirm if the two videos were shot at the same time. However, they were filmed at the same location.
The area targeted by the bombing witnessed several explosions over short periods. Some military experts have suggested that these are cluster bombs, which generally disperse many submunitions across a wide area. Munitions are banned under the 2008 agreement, but it has not been signed by the United States, Russia, or Ukraine.
The two videos were filmed in the northeast of Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine. The attacks took place between a mall and apartment buildings (Geographical Location: 50.028497, 36.362763).
The building that enabled us to locate the video (in green) and the target area (in red). © Google Earth / Observers Rocket debris falling on civilians These two videos are not the only ones showing shelling in the northeast of the city. We found two more videos showing wreckage of Russian-made Smirch missiles.
We checked one of the videos, and we shot it 3.5 kilometers south of the bombing. It shows a steam missile stuck in the ground in the middle of the road as a car drives past it. Astonished passersby stopped for a photo.
Another video shows the same model of the rocket, this time filmed from a closer distance. The end of the rocket in the footage is also similar to the end of the Smerch rocket.
Civilian buildings were bombed on Sunday, February 27. On the morning of Monday, February 28, a video was filmed in the north-east of the city. Our editorial staff was able to determine the geolocation: it shows a school in ruins and covered in shrapnel. Moreover, the remains of military vehicles testify to violent clashes between the Russian and Ukrainian armies.
In a video posted on Telegram the next day, a tearful woman describes what’s left of her school: “This was a physics class, on the third floor… opposite the biology class… and here, it used to be a canteen…”.
Footage of the school itself was filmed on fire on Sunday night, February 27. Kharkiv witnessed its civilian buildings affected by the fighting between the Russian and Ukrainian armies for at least three consecutive days.
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