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UN official condemns Russian strike against Kharkiv hypermarket

by Abbey Fenbert May 26, 2024 2:06 AM 2 min read
U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Denise Brown takes part in an international conference on victims of conflict-related sexual violence in Kyiv on Marh 4, 2024. (Pavlo Bagmut/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Russia's deadly strike against a crowded shopping center in Kharkiv on May 25 violates international law, the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, Denise Brown, said in a statement condemning the attack.

Russian forces attacked a busy building materials hypermarket in Kharkiv with two guided bombs in the middle of the day on May 25, killing at least six people and injuring at least 40 others.

"I am appalled and shocked by the terrifying news arriving from Kharkiv." Brown said in a statement issued shortly after the bombing.

"This afternoon, in broad daylight as people — despite all the horrors they endure every day in this city — were trying to go about their day, their lives were shattered by yet another attack by the Russian Armed Forces. The strike hit a busy shopping centre with scores of civilian casualties and massive damage to civilian facilities."

Brown called the attacks "utterly unacceptable" and demanded an end to Russian strikes against civilian targets and critical infrastructure.

"Intentionally directing an attack against civilian infrastructure is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law," she said.

The bombing of the hypermarket comes amid intensifying attacks against Kharkiv. Russia launched a new offensive on May 10 in northern Kharkiv Oblast with a reported 30,000 troops.

Russian forces regularly conduct ground shelling and aerial attacks against population centers in Kharkiv Oblast.

Russia’s latest offensive into Kharkiv Oblast is stretching Ukrainian defenses
Russia’s two-pronged assault in Kharkiv Oblast that began on May 10 is exploiting Ukraine’s troop shortage, forcing it to make difficult decisions about where to commit reserves. Two weeks into the offensive, one group of Russian forces is already fighting in the streets of the town of Vovchansk
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