Russian shelling in Ukraine's Kharkiv region kills 15

Fire-fighters put out a fire at a college that was shelled in Kharkiv, on June 21, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KYIV, UKRAINE (AFP) - An eight-year-old child was among 15 people killed by Russian shelling on Tuesday (June 21) in the eastern Kharkiv region, governor Oleg Synegubov said.

Located in northeastern Ukraine, Kharkiv is a region near the Russian border where many residents who fled at the start of the invasion have begun to return after Russian attempts to capture Ukraine's second city were repelled.

"Fifteen people died and 16 were wounded. Such are the terrible consequences of Russian daytime shelling in the Kharkiv region," Synegubov said on Telegram.

The deaths and injuries occurred in four separate incidents, he added.

Russian forces had fired on Chuguiv, a town 30km south-east of Kharkiv city, killing six and wounding four, he said.

Another five people died and 11 were injured in Kharkiv city, and the eight-year-old child was killed in the suburbs in an attack that also wounded his mother.

Three more people died in Zolochiv, a small town 40km north of the city.

"This is terrorism. These are crimes against humanity that must be punished!" said Synegubov.

Kharkiv city, which lies just 50km from the Russian border, was heavily shelled by Moscow's forces at the start of the invasion but Ukrainian forces regained control after battles that left the city badly damaged.

Russian troops have since refocused their efforts on taking the eastern Donbas area, which incorporates the Donetsk and Lugansk regions south-east of Kharkiv.

Local residents clear debris after rockets hit a railway transport building, in the small city of Lyubotyn, in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, on June 20, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

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