Exclusive ITV News dispatch from inside Kharkiv now left an 'absolute shell' after missile strike

  • ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports from Kharkiv which just two weeks ago was a normal bustling city and is now an absolute shell

Kharkiv is now a shell of its former self - rubble litters the streets, buildings have been left completely destroyed and residents are wandering around in a state of shock assessing the damage of their beloved city.

Ukraine’s second-largest city is now “completely devoid of any kind of normal life,” ITV News’ Correspondent Dan Rivers explains as he reports from Freedom Square in the middle of Kharkiv – one of only a few journalists embedded in this war-torn city.

Not long after sunrise on Tuesday, the square was the target of an attack by the Russian military, which left the City Hall building devastated – its windows blown out, the ceiling collapsed and concrete dust adding another layer of grim and grey desperation.

Kharkiv offers a glimpse into the grim future that seems to await this country, Dan Rivers reports

Also struck on Tuesday was a tent site on the central square that had been set up to collect aid for the volunteer Ukrainian fighters who have rushed to Kharkiv's defence.

It was the first time the Russian military had hit the centre of the city of about 1.5 million people, whose residential neighbourhoods have been under fire for days.

City Hall was struck in the missile attack, leaving windows blown out and the ceiling collapsed. Credit: AP

As Dan Rivers explains, Russia has switch tactics from trying to hit military targets at the beginning of this water to now trying to take out symbols of the Ukrainian state.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack on the square “frank, undisguised terror. Nobody will forgive. Nobody will forget."

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.

'It's an awful war, we are crying every day, every night. You should stop it immediately. Stop it.'

ITV News spoke to the Ukrainians caught up in this war, now searching for their former city in the midst of the ruins.

One woman says she has not stopped crying: “It’s awful…we’re crying every day, every night…you should stop it immediately, stop it.”

Another told ITV News: “I am sad. I don't know how we will rebuild it after the war actually, because we don’t have a lot of money.”

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