11 Feb 2024

Ukrainian family of five die in Russian drone attack in Kharkiv

6:56 am on 11 February 2024
Ukrainian emergency personnel douse water to extinguish flames as they work at the site of a drone attack in Kharkiv, early on February 10, 2024. Seven people, including three children, were killed Saturday in a Russian drone attack on the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, the regional governor said. "Unfortunately the death toll from the occupiers' attacks on Kharkiv has risen to seven," Oleg Synegubov said on the Telegram social network. "Among them are three children: 7, 4 years old and a baby about six months old." (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP)

Ukrainian emergency personnel douse water to extinguish flames as they work at the site of a drone attack in Kharkiv, early on 10 February 2024. Photo: AFP / SERGEY BOBOK

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 on Saturday.

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."

Putyatina, 35, was on maternity leave and had worked in the Kharkiv regional office since June 2012, according to a message on its official Telegram channel.

An elderly couple living in the same street 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.

The family of five who were killed 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, speaking to reporters in the street that was burnt down.

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.

Synehubov also said that Russian drones hit a restaurant in the small town of Velykyi Berluk, 100 kilometres from Kharkiv. He reported no casualties there.

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.

This story was originally published by Reuters.

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