April 21 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv was under intense bombardment on Thursday, its mayor Ihor Terekhov said.
“Huge blasts, the Russian Federation is furiously bombing the city,” Terekhov said in a televised address.
He said that around 1 million people remain in the northeastern city, while about 30% of the population have evacuated, mainly women, children and the elderly.
- Russian forces are advancing from staging areas in Donbas towards Kramatorsk, which continues to be hit by rocket attacks, a British military update said on Thursday.
High levels of Russian air activity continue as it seeks to provide close air support to its offensive in eastern Ukraine, and to suppress and destroy Ukrainian air defence capabilities, the UK Ministry of Defence tweeted in a regular bulletin.
“Russia likely desires to demonstrate significant successes ahead of their annual 9th May Victory Day celebrations. This could affect how quickly and forcefully they attempt to conduct operations in the run-up to this date,” the tweet added.
Reuters could not immediately verify the report.