At least 21 people were killed and 25 were injured on Thursday, 17 March, when Russian forces shelled the town of Merefa outside the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, hitting a school and a cultural centre, regional prosecutors said in a Facebook post.
Of the wounded, 10 people were in a serious condition, they added. Merefa Mayor Veniamin Sitov stated the attack occurred just before dawn on Thursday, news agency AP reported.
Meanwhile, Ukraine on Thursday also accused Russian forces of bombing a theatre where hundreds of civilians had taken shelter in the southern city of Mariupol amid third week of Russia’s invasion of the country.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba shared a before-after photo of the theatre, stating, “Another horrendous war crime in Mariupol. Massive Russian attack on the Drama Theater where hundreds of innocent civilians were hiding. The building is now fully ruined. Russians could not have not known this was a civilian shelter. Save Mariupol! Stop Russian war criminals!”
With Russian forces trying to make inroads, the Kharkiv region has seen heavy bombardment over the past few days.
In the city of Chernihiv, north-east of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, Ukraine’s emergency service says a hostel was shelled, killing a mother, father, and three of their children, including three-year-old twins, AP reported.
(With inputs from AP.)