At least six people were killed, and 16 others were injured in a Russian missile strike on a mail depot in the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine on Saturday, Ukrainian officials said.
“Russian missiles hit the Nova Poshta center — an ordinary civilian object,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app.
He shared a video showing a building with blown out windows, and trucks with Nova Poshta written on them, parked in front of the building. Nova Poshta means New Post in Ukrainian.
All the victims were employees of the private Ukrainian postal and courier service, said Dmytro Chubenko, spokesperson for the regional prosecutor’s office.
In a statement, the postal service company said that those working inside the depot had no time to reach shelter before the bombs hit the facility.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the warehouse was hit by two of the S-300 Russian missiles fired from Russia’s Belgorod region north of Kharkiv.
Elsewhere in the Kharkiv region, three people were injured in Russian shelling on the front line of the city of Kupiansk, the epicenter of fierce battles, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on social media.
Thirty-six missiles were recorded over the Kherson region, with some villages being hit by several strikes, Natalia Humeniuk said. She’s the spokesperson for the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South.
In a report released Saturday, the Institute for the Study of War, or ISW, said that Russian forces could be diversifying the mix of missiles, guided bombs, and drones used in strikes on Ukraine. The Washington-based research group speculated that the change could be part of an attempt to find gaps in Ukraine’s air defenses ahead of further strikes over the winter.
Russian forces have repelled Ukrainian forces crossing the Dnipro River east into the southern Kherson region over the past day, Russia’s defense ministry said Sunday.
According to the ministry, Ukrainian “sabotage and reconnaissance” teams were stopped while trying to cross the river near the villages of Pridniprovske, Tiahynka and Krynky.
Three Ukrainian missiles targeting Crimea were downed Sunday over the town of Henichesk in the Russia-held area of the Kherson region, the Russia-installed governor, Vladimir Saldo, wrote on Telegram.
Russia also said it had destroyed Ukrainian personnel, water-crossing equipment and vehicles near the village of Stanislav. The Reuters news agency could not independently verify the battlefield reports.
Ukraine’s air defense systems destroyed six Russia-launched attack drones and a cruise missile overnight, Ukraine’s air force said Sunday, adding that in total Russia launched nine cruise missiles on Ukraine.
Fierce fighting continues around the eastern city of Avdiivka, as Russian forces have intensified their offensive in that area and Ukrainian forces try to repel Russian attacks, acting Governor Ihor Moroz said Saturday.
According to analysis by the ISW, Russian troops have secured minor gains north of Avdiivka. The institute said Friday that Moscow has suffered “heavy materiel and personnel losses” in its effort to secure the contested industrial town. It cited geolocated footage from pro-Kremlin “military bloggers” on the ground to support its assessment.
The Ukrainian General Staff said Friday that its forces had damaged or destroyed almost 50 Russian tanks and more than 100 armored vehicles in the fighting near Avdiivka during the previous day.
The claim could not be independently verified, The Associated Press reported.
North Korean involvement
On Saturday, North Korea condemned the United States for supplying Ukraine with long-range ballistic missiles, saying any strike using them on Russia will only thwart peace efforts.
On Tuesday, Ukraine said it used the U.S.-supplied Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, for the first time, inflicting heavy damage on two airfields in Russia-occupied areas. Kyiv had repeatedly asked Washington for the missiles, while promising not to use them inside Russia.
“The U.S. finally delivered ATACMS ground-to-ground missile system to Ukraine despite the deep concern and strong opposition of the international community,” Sin Hong-Chol, North Korea’s ambassador to Russia, said in a statement carried by state media KCNA.
The White House recently accused North Korea of providing Russia with weapons shipments, calling it a troubling development and raising concerns about the expanded military relationship between the two countries.
Some information used in this story came from Reuters and The Associated Press.