KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian missile strike killed a 10-year-old boy and injured two dozen other people Friday in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, officials said, a day after a strike in the same region killed at least 51 civilians in one of the deadliest attacks in the war in months.
Associated Press reporters saw emergency crews pulling the boy’s body from the rubble of a building after the early morning attack. He was wearing pajamas with a Spiderman design.
The explosion left a crater in a city street, just meters (feet) away from an apartment building. Debris and rubble littered the street. Surrounding buildings were blackened by the blast, which shattered windows and damaged parked cars.
Yevhen Shevchenko, a resident of a nearby nine-story building, said he was in bed when the attack occurred. “There was a blast wave, a powerful explosion. It blew out the windows and doors in the apartment,” he said.
The Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office said the boy was killed as a result of the attack, which injured 23 people.
A day earlier, a Russian rocket blast turned a village cafe and store in Hroza, a village in eastern Ukraine to rubble, killing at least 51 civilians, according to Ukrainian officials.
Around 60 people, including children, were attending a wake at the cafe when the missile hit, the officials said.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attending a summit of about 50 European leaders in Spain to rally support from Ukraine’s allies, called the strike as a “demonstrably brutal Russian crime” and “a completely deliberate act of terrorism.”
His visit to the summit aimed to secure more military aid, among other goals, and Zelenskyy said late Thursday that his efforts had produced results.
“We will have more air defense systems,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. “There will be more long-range weapons.”
The air defense systems are crucial as Ukrainian officials try to prevent attacks like the ones in Kharkiv and amid fears Moscow will resume concerted attacks on power facilities during the winter, in a repeat of its tactics last year when it tried to break Ukrainians’ spirit by denying them electricity.
Zelenskyy is also fighting against signs that Western support for his country’s war effort could be fraying.
Concerns over the resupply of Ukraine’s armed forces have deepened amid political turmoil in the United States and warnings that Europe’s ammunition and military hardware stocks are running low.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine