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A photo shows a city square in Kharkiv following a missile attack

A photo shows the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv, Ukraine on March 1, 2022. (Photo: Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)

'Undisguised Terror': Ukrainian President Condemns Russian Missile Attack

"They are using terror trying to break us," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address to the European Parliament.

Jake Johnson

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday accused Russia of engaging in "frank, undisguised terror" after a missile struck the main square of Ukraine's second-largest city, killing at least seven people, injuring dozens, and damaging an administrative building.

"They are using terror trying to break us," Zelenskyy said in an address to the European Parliament on day six of Russia's deadly assault on Ukraine.

The missile attack on Kharkiv was seen as part of Russia's intensifying effort to overcome strong resistance from Ukrainian military forces and volunteers who have taken up arms in response to the invasion, which Ukrainian officials say has killed at least 130 civilians thus far.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian forces on Monday "unleashed a barrage of multiple-launch rocket fire against residential neighborhoods in Kharkiv, killing at least 10 civilians, including three children and their parents who were incinerated in a car struck by a Russian projectile, and injuring at least 40, according to Kharkiv officials."

"Some 87 Kharkiv apartment buildings have been damaged, and several parts of Kharkiv no longer have water, electricity or heating, Mayor Ihor Terekhov told Ukrainian TV channels," the Journal noted. "Kharkiv, which served as the capital of Ukraine in the 1920s and 1930s, is home to some 1.4 million people."

Ekaterina Babenko, a Kharkiv resident, told the Associated Press that the ongoing attack "is a nightmare, and it seizes you from the inside very strongly."

"This cannot be explained with words,” said Babenko, who has been taking shelter in a basement with neighbors for several consecutive days. "We have small children, elderly people and frankly speaking it is very frightening."

An International Criminal Court prosecutor said Monday that he intends to launch an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine as Russian forces face accusations of deploying unlawful cluster munitions and targeting civilian areas. Russia has denied that it is deliberately attacking civilians.

Terekhov warned Tuesday that Russian troops have surrounded Kharkiv as Ukrainian forces and residents brace for more attacks on the city as well as a large-scale assault on the capital Kyiv, which has thus far beaten back Russian incursion efforts. Satellite imagery shows a 40-mile convoy of Russian tanks and armored vehicles advancing toward Kyiv.

"Kharkiv and Kyiv are currently the most important targets for Russia," Zelenskyy said in a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday. "Terror is meant to break us. To break our resistance. They are heading to our capital, as well as to Kharkiv."

On Monday, Russian and Ukrainian officials held an initial round of talks just over the border of Belarus, with additional negotiations expected in the coming days. Ukraine's leadership is demanding an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of all Russian troops, while Russia's leaders are calling for the "demilitarization" of Ukraine and a guarantee that the country will not join NATO.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that there are currently no plans for Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin to speak directly.

"Direct talks are underway between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations," said Peskov.

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