2 Killed In Russian Strike On Ukraine DIY Store, Hundreds Feared Inside

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2 Killed In Russian Strike On Ukraine DIY Store, Hundreds Feared Inside

The Epitsentr chain of hypermarkets sells household and DIY goods.

Kharkiv:

Russia on Saturday bombed a hardware superstore in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, killing at least two people and injuring over 20, in an attack condemned as "vile" by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Kharkiv regional governor Oleg Synegubov said that at least two people were killed and 24 injured when "two Russian guided bombs hit a construction hypermarket" and "a fire broke out over 15,000 square metres".

Videos posted by witnesses on social media showed a huge column of black smoke billowing into the sky from a fire in the Epitsentr store, located in an area of large stores beside a car park. 

The Epitsentr chain of hypermarkets sells household and DIY goods.

The city of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest, regularly comes under attack from Russian missiles, with strikes on the city killing at least seven people on Thursday.

The latest attack came after Russia launched a ground offensive in the Kharkiv region on May 10. Ukraine said Friday that it had managed to halt Moscow's progress and was counterattacking.

"As of now, we know that more than 200 people could have been inside the hypermarket," Zelensky said on Telegram, condemning the daylight attack on an "obviously civilian" target.

"Russia struck another brutal blow at our Kharkiv - at a construction hypermarket - on Saturday, right in the middle of the day," Zelensky said.

"Only madmen like Putin are capable of killing and terrorising people in such a vile way," he added.

"There were a lot of workers and shoppers inside. Now the fire is on the whole territory," the president said.

Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov said that according to the store's owner, 15 store employees had not been in contact and approximately 200 people were in the building at the time of the strikes.

"We have a large number of people missing. There are many wounded," Terekhov wrote on Telegram.

"Apparently, the attack was on a shopping centre where there were many people -- this is pure terrorism."

On Saturday Russia shelled the village of Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi, a railway hub in the Kharkiv region near the border, wounding five, the regional prosecutor's office said in a statement.

It said that two vehicles came under fire: a car with two passengers and an ambulance with a driver, a paramedic and a 64-year-old patient.

Russia also carried out air strikes on the Kupiansk district, damaging a factory and residential buildings, the prosecutor's office said.

In the eastern Donetsk region, shelling on Saturday killed a 40-year-old woman and wounded four, said the head of the regional administration, Vadym Filashkin.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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