Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, continues with Russian missiles targeting residential buildings and killing innocent civilians.
Local authorities said on Thursday that shelling killed at least seven people and wounded an additional 17 overnight in the north-eastern city.
The area faced intense Russian bombing in April but was soon reclaimed by Ukrainian fighters who pushed back Russian soldiers earlier this month. Ukrainian forces were so successful in pushing back Russian soldiers that some in the city were able to return to some kind of normality, with the city’s metro network reopening this month too.
Hundreds of people using the city’s metro stations as bomb shelters were asked to leave and return home, but many insisted that they were too afraid to go back home.
But as Russian forces continue their advance through the eastern Donbas region and attempt to take control of cities surrounding the area, soldiers have halted their advance and are once again shelling the city.
Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov warned resident that it is “too early to relax.”
“The enemy is again insidiously hitting the civilian population, terrorizing them,” he said.
Among those killed in the shellings, Synehubov said, was a nine-year-old child.
Russian forces spent Wednesday night bombing the western edge of the Donetsk region, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, shelling more than 40 towns in the region.
“The occupiers shelled more than 40 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk region, destroying or damaging 47 civilian sites, including 38 homes and a school. As a result of this shelling five civilians died and 12 were wounded,” the Joint Task Force of Ukraine’s Armed Forces wrote on Facebook.
“Everything Russian Must Go”
A report by the Moscow Times revealed how, during the recent periods of calm, Ukrainian residents and authorities have worked to rename streets and remove any reminders of Russia.
The outlet reported how “Moscow Avenue,” a wide boulevard that runs through Kharkiv, has been renamed “Heroes of Khakiv” in honor of those who fought against the Russians in recent months.
A state of medieval Russian hero Alexander Nevsky has also been toppled in the city, and three other streets have been renamed to remove references to Russia. If the trend continues, as many as 200 streets and squares in the city could be renamed in the coming weeks.
“Names are associated with a certain nation or country. What is being done by this country, we can all see. So everything Russian must go,” 59-year-old resident Laryssa Vassylchenko told the outlet.
With Russians returning to Kharkiv, however, it could be weeks or months before the fate of the city is decided.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.