Russian missile strikes heart of Ukraine's second-largest city in act of 'undisguised terror'

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports from Kharkiv and the missile strike that hit at the heart of Ukraine's second-largest city

Ukraine's second-largest city has been rocked by more Russian blasts in a second day of bombardment, with the country's president condemning the missile strike of a government building an act of "undisguised terror".

Overnight, the eastern city of Kharkiv, was pounded by more shelling with footage showing apartment buildings shaken by repeated, powerful explosions.

On Tuesday morning, Russian military targeted the city's main Freedom Square, hitting a Soviet-era government administrative building and residential blocks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said of the attack: “Nobody will forgive. Nobody will forget... This is state terrorism of the Russian Federation."

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba shared footage of the attacks, describing them as "barbaric Russian missile strikes".

"Putin is unable to break Ukraine down. He commits more war crimes out of fury, murders innocent civilians. The world can and must do more," he tweeted.

An emergency official said the bodies of at least six people had been pulled from the ruins, and at least 20 other people were injured.

It was not immediately clear what type of weapon was used or how many people were killed, but President Zelenskyy said there were dozens of casualties.

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers explains how Russian tactics have changed, and they are targeting infrastructure of the state, but Ukrainians are not backing down in the face of Russian aggression

Kharkiv residents spoke of their heartbreak over their former city from the destroyed Freedom Square, with one telling ITV News "we are crying every day, every night".

"It's awful, awful, awful war... You should stop it immediately, stop it," she pleaded.

Another resident simply said: “We will kick the s*** out of the Russians.”

"We are crying every day"

Another expressed her sadness and said she was "so sorry".

"I don't know how we will rebuild it after the war because we don't have a lot of money," she told ITV News.

Following Monday's attacks, the Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said Kharkiv had been "massively fired on", with officials reporting that at least 44 people had been wounded in fighting that day and seven of them died in hospitals.

The state emergencies agency said the casualties could be higher because the damage from Monday’s shelling of residential areas is still being assessed.

Mr Zelenskyy branded the attacks overnight on Kharkiv a "war crime" and told President Vladimir Putin: "No one in the world will forgive you for killing peaceful Ukrainian people."

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The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said he will open an investigation soon into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

Ukraine's UN representative said that 352 people, including 16 children, had been killed as of Monday in the fighting.

At least 10 people have been killed and more than 20 injured in the bomb strike in Kharkiv, Ukraine's State Emergency Service said on Tuesday afternoon.

The missile attack destroyed large parts of the city's regional state administration building, the government service said.

It shared footage from inside the decimated building and of emergency workers carrying the injured to waiting vehicles.

With the Kremlin increasingly isolated by tough economic sanctions that have tanked its ruble currency, Russian troops continue to attempt to advance on Ukraine’s two biggest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv.

A huge military convoy, stretching for 40 miles, was pictured heading towards Kyiv.

Russian forces are currently around 17 miles outside of the capital which they have their sights set on capturing in an apparent bid to overthrow the government.

Meanwhile, in Okhtyrka, a city between Kharkiv and Kyiv, a regional official reported 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed on Sunday after Russian artillery hit a military base.

Kharkiv, which sits in northeast Ukraine close to the border with Russia, is still under Ukrainian control, according to officials, but fighting broke out with Russian troops over the weekend.

CCTV from an apartment building in Kharkiv shows multiple explosions hit the carpark and walkway outside

The fighting has been going on near Kharkiv for days, with an important natural gas pipeline blown up over the weekend by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities said.

Despite a five-hour session of talks between Ukraine and Russia yielding no stop in the fighting on Monday, both sides agreed to another meeting in coming days.

Ukraine's embattled president, however, said in a video address he believed the stepped-up shelling was designed to pressure him into bowing to President Vladimir Putin's demands.

He did not offer details of the talks that took place, but said Kyiv was not prepared to make concessions “when one side is hitting another with rocket artillery".

Denouncing continued attacks on Kharkiv, the Ukrainian president said it is a "peaceful city" with "peaceful residential areas" and no military facilities.

"Dozens of eyewitness accounts prove that this is not a single false volley, but deliberate destruction of people: the Russians knew where they were shooting," Mr Zelenskyy said in a video address.

Numerous videos have appeared on social media of buildings being shelled, while other footage shows significant Russian armour entering the city.

Videos showing the aftermath of the shelling in Kharkiv

In a facebook post, Mr Herashchenko wrote: "This horror should be seen by the whole world! Death to the occupiers!"

The Russian military has consistently denied targeting residential areas, despite video purporting to show the shelling of residential buildings, schools and hospitals.

Mr Herashchenko added: "There is no forgiveness for this! Defeat the enemy with all our might and means! Glory to Ukraine!"

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