Russia pounds Kharkiv with missiles and drones, Ukraine says

Images from Kharkiv showed badly damaged buildings, including a hotel with many windows blown out.

Ukraine’s air force said the military had shot down 21 out of 49 drones launched overnight by Russia. Most were aimed at the front line and parts of the Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia regions, it said.

In a separate attack, three people were killed when Russian forces shelled a village in the Kharkiv region near the front line, Syniehubov said.

The attacks came within hours after what Moscow called an “indiscriminate” Ukrainian air attack on the city of Belgorod, near Kharkiv and just north of Ukraine’s border, that killed at least 22 people.

Russian newspaper Kommersant cited a source close to the Russian Investigative Committee as saying that Ukraine launched its attack on Belgorod from a multiple rocket launcher in the Kharkiv region.

Both sides have increased attacks in the last week of 2023, with Russia killing at least 31 civilians in its biggest air assault of the 22-month war on Ukraine on Friday.

US President Joe Biden, asked if he’ll speak to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after Russia’s latest attacks in Ukraine, said: “I speak to him regularly.”

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