Authorities say at least eight people, including a child, have been injured in a powerful Russian missile strike on a newly renovated cultural center in eastern Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has said on social media that Russia has targeted the “reformed House of Culture” in the eastern city of Lozhova in Kharkiv. He described the attack as “absolutely evil” and “absolutely foolish”.
Kharkiv’s regional governor Oleg Sinegubov said eight people, including an 11-year-old girl, had been injured. Everyone was stabbed. A local health official had earlier put the number of injured at seven.
The missile strike sparked a fire at a cultural center that also damaged nearby buildings, Sinegubov said, adding that Russian forces fired three missiles at the region’s largest cultural center, the 1,000-capacity building.
“There is no doubt that the occupiers directly targeted (it),” he said in a telegram.
Two missiles were intercepted and the fire was extinguished, he added.
“The occupiers have identified culture, education and humanity as their enemies. And they do not drop missiles or bombs,” Zelensky wrote in the Telegram.
He added a video to his message showing a large explosion in the building, with debris flying around, followed by clouds of thick black smoke. The residential complex could be seen nearby and two passing cars, one of which sped off to escape the area.
Defense Minister Oleg Motuzianik said the situation on the Eastern Front was tense on Friday and appeared to be deteriorating further.
He told a news conference that Russian forces were firing along the line of communication and trying to fire deep into Ukraine’s defense lines.
Russia has been regularly accused of targeting civilian infrastructure since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine. The conflict has devastated several towns and cities.
In the south, Mariupol is facing complete destruction. Moscow forces attacked a theater in the southern port city in March, killing hundreds of civilians who had sought refuge there.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)