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Prosecutors: Death toll in Kharkiv hypermarket attack may rise to 18

by Kateryna Hodunova May 27, 2024 2:17 PM 2 min read
The aftermath of the Russian strike against Kharkiv, targeting a building materials supermarket on May 25, 2024. (Kharkiv Oblast prosecutor's office / Telegram)
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The number of those who were killed in the May 25 attack on Kharkiv may rise to 18 as the search operation continues, Dmytro Chubenko, the spokesperson of the regional prosecutor's office, told Ukrainska Pravda on May 27.

Russia hit a building materials supermarket, "Epicenter," in Kharkiv in the middle of the day on May 25. Local authorities reported the following day that at least 16 people, including a 12-year-old girl and her mother, were killed, while other 44 people were injured.

Chubenko said that there were 16 killed and 45 injured as of May 27. Five people are still missing, while 13 out of the 16 killed people were identified.

"We had seven requests on missing people. Five remain as of now. Unfortunately, two missing people were among those who were killed," Chubenko said.

Kuleba calls for more Patriots, support for striking military targets in Russia after ‘barbaric’ attack on Kharkiv
After a Russia strike that killed at least four and injured at least 38, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Ukraine’s partners to “provide Ukraine with additional air defense and support for Ukrainian strikes on military targets in Russia” in a post on X on May 25.

The spokesperson added that the search operation continues, but it is complicated by the consequences of the explosion and a severe fire.

"Some bodies were torn into pieces after the explosion, and the walls and ceilings collapsed," he said.

"Also, after strong fires, very small (body) pieces are left, so it is difficult to understand what the body piece is and what is not."

Chubenko does not rule out that the fire could cause the complete disappearance of body parts.

According to the spokesperson, 20 people remained in the supermarket at the time of the explosion. What happened to all of them remains unclear, as the surveillance cameras turned off after the explosion.

"Maybe they were in shock but managed to leave (the supermarket) quickly. Maybe they were among the injured, or maybe they suffered minor injuries, went home in the state of shock, and did not report on that," Chubenko said.

Yuliia Chudnovets, the spokesperson of the "Epicenter," told Ukrainska Pravda that at least two workers of the supermarket were confirmed killed, and the other 12 are still missing.

Ukraine war latest: Russian strike on Kharkiv supermarket kills 16; Zelensky says Moscow increasing presence near northern border
Key developments on May 25-26: * Russia strikes supermarket in Kharkiv, killing 16, including a child * Russia launches another attack on Kharkiv, hours after deadly supermarket strike, injuring 25 * Zelensky, Kuleba, other officials call for more air defense after Kharkiv strike * Zelensky: Ru…
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