Russian drone attack kills family of five

Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian drone attack that killed seven in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian drone attack that killed seven in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photo: AAP

A Ukrainian prosecutor, her husband, and their three small children were killed after a Russian drone attack on the northeastern city of Kharkiv hit an oil depot, triggering blazes and damaging residential houses, officials said.

The regional prosecutor’s office named the local prosecutor who died along with her children Oleksiy, 7, Mykhailo, 3, and 10-month-old Pavlo as Olha Putyatina and added, “The family was held hostage by a fire inside their own home.”

An elderly couple living in the same street as the family were also killed, and three other people were wounded in the city.

The drones struck late on Friday, causing several large fires, and burning at least 15 residential houses in the east of Kharkiv, said Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov on Saturday.

The family of five lived in one of the houses on Kotelnia street in the eastern part of the city, said Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Police in the region.

The Ukrainian air force said that air defence and mobile groups of drone hunters shot down 23 out of 31 Russian-launched drones, which were targeting the Kharkiv region and also the Odesa region in the south.

Oleh Kiper, governor of Odesa region, said the drone attack injured four people and damaged industrial facilities, cars, and some port infrastructure.

In Kharkiv, Synehubov said that several drones hit the oil depot causing the fuel leakage. Firefighters and rescuers worked through the night to extinguish fires and clear through the debris.

Russia did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Moscow has said its forces do not deliberately target civilian sites.

Kharkiv has been under regular attack since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and has been a frequent target of Russian assaults in recent weeks.

Russia did claim, via telegram, that it had repelled a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian “civilian transport ships” on Friday evening in the southwestern area of the Black Sea, a key artery for grain and oil exports from both countries.

Russia’s defence ministry said one Ukrainian naval drone involved in the attack had been destroyed and the rest disabled by artillery fire or electronic warfare. No Russian civilian or military vessels were damaged, it said.


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