Russian Airstrike Claims 51 Lives at Ukrainian Funeral

Russian Airstrike Claims 51 Lives at Ukrainian Funeral

A Russian assault on the village of Hroza, located southeast of Kharkiv, resulted in the death of at least 51 people, including a six-year-old boy.

The attack occurred during a gathering for a local resident’s wake at 13:15 local time (15:15 BST). Ukraine’s defense ministry confirmed that there were no military targets in the area; only civilians were present.

Russian Airstrike Claims 51 Lives at Ukrainian Funeral
Russian Airstrike Claims 51 Lives at Ukrainian Funeral

Kharkiv regional head Oleh Synyehubov characterized the attack as one of the region’s most “bloody crimes.” He confirmed that all the casualties were residents of the village, which had a population of approximately 501 people in 2020. This means that today’s shelling alone claimed the lives of 10% of the village’s population.

The village is part of the Kupyansk district, which has been a front line for clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces since Vladimir Putin initiated a full-scale invasion in February of the previous year. Initially a significant supply hub for Russian forces, Kyiv managed to recapture it in September 2022 after months of fighting.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack as a “brutal Russian crime” and asserted that Russia aims to normalize genocidal aggression worldwide through such acts.

The interior minister stated that an Iskander missile was employed in the attack, but independent verification by the BBC has not been possible.

The attack on the village occurred while Mr. Zelensky was attending the European leaders’ summit in Granada, Spain. During the summit, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, expressed concern that political disputes were jeopardizing the US’s ability to provide funding for the Ukrainian military. A recent budget deal in the US Congress did not include funding for Ukraine. Mr. Borrell emphasized that European countries could not fill the void left by the absence of American support.

On a separate note, Mr. Zelensky appealed to European leaders for additional air defense missiles and suggested that other nations owe Ukraine for shielding them from Russian aggression.

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