Three children are among seven people killed after a brutal attack by Russian drones in Ukraine’s second-largest city, officials reported.
At least 15 houses and a petrol station were reportedly destroyed overnight following the drone strike in Kharkiv.
The region governor Oleh Syniehubov claims the Iranian-made Shahed drone hit civilian infrastructure in the Nemyshlyan district of the city.
A family-of-five, including three children and two adults were “held hostage by the fire inside their own house”, chief investigator Sergiy Bolvinov said.
He added: “The man’s body is in the corridor of the house, the mother and the children tried to save themselves in the bathroom.
“We do not yet know where the baby’s body is. The search is underway.”
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said more than 50 people had been evacuated while emergency workers contained the huge fire by Saturday morning.
A witness, Andrii Kruglo: “Everything exploded and started running like a river. A burning river. I was covered in diesel fuel.
“It was running down the street and setting houses on fire. We tried to put the fire out, extinguished it with our hands, with snow, as much as we could.”
Regional prosecutor Oleksandr Filachkov said three drones hit Kharkiv’s Nemyshlyanskyi district.
“As a result, an object of critical infrastructure was destroyed,” he said.
“There was a large amount of fuel, which is why the consequences of the fire were so terrible.”
In an online statement, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered his condolences to the relatives of all the victims and said that “terror can’t remain unpunished.
Terror can’t remain without a fair response. Terrorists must lose this war they had started. Russia must be held accountable for every life it ruined and destroyed.”
A total of 23 out of 31 Iranian Shahed drones launched by Russia overnight were destroyed by the Ukrainian air force.
The drones primarily targeted the northeastern Kharkiv region and the southern province of Odesa, the statement said.