The facility, on the outskirts of the eastern city of Kharkiv, was far from the front line but only about 20 miles from Russia’s border.
A missile slammed into a postal depot overnight on the outskirts of Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, killing six workers and wounding at least 16 other employees, the Ukrainian authorities said.
The depot was in Korotych, one of the city’s western suburbs, said Oleh Syniehubov, of the regional military administration, in a post on the Telegram messaging app. In a separate message, Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office accused Russian forces stationed across the border in the Belgorod region of firing a surface-to-air missile. The Ukrainian statements could not be independently confirmed.
“A missile has just hit it,” the private postal operator, Nova Poshta, said in a statement on Facebook that included video of bomb damage. “There are dead and injured, including those seriously injured. They had no chance to run to the shelter, because the sirens sounded seconds before.”
A similar video posted online by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine showed emergency workers at the warehouse-style depot, which had been shattered by what appeared to be an explosion that had also damaged a series of delivery trucks. The blast had scattered shards of glass and metal over a parking lot.
“Russia will not be able to achieve anything through terror and murder,” Mr. Zelensky wrote on Telegram. “We need to respond to Russian terror every day with our results on the front lines.”
The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, also condemned the attack in a post on X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, and said that “the United States stands with Ukraine to hold Russia accountable.”
Police officers at the site of the strike.Credit…Sergey Bobok/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Kharkiv is around 60 miles from the front line in the war, but only about 20 miles from the Russian border. As a result, it has been regularly targeted by missiles, even as Moscow has made no concerted attempt to take control of the city since early in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine that began 20 months ago.
Ukraine’s interior minister, Ihor Klymenko, said that Russia’s air force also struck a coal mine in the city of Toretsk, in the Donetsk region, overnight, and that Russian mortars had hit houses in the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine. Mr. Klymenko said that there were no casualties. Ukraine’s armed forces said on Sunday that they had shot down three Russian exploding drones overnight.
Russia has conducted a campaign of missile and drone strikes against civilian targets in Ukraine in parallel with its invasion. Since February 2022, more than 9,000 civilians have been recorded killed and nearly 18,000 people have been wounded, according to data from the United Nations. Explosions rather than gunfire have caused the majority of the casualties, the U.N. has said.
At the same time, there has been relatively little change to frontline positions this year, in spite of a Russian offensive in the east of the country that began in January and appeared to culminate in May with the seizure of the city of Bakhmut. A Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in June has resulted in the recapture of some territory, including villages in the south and east of the country.
Both sides have sustained substantial military casualties, but Russian minefields, trenches and defensive barriers, as well as its artillery and drones, have combined to impede Ukraine’s effort to win back territory.
In one sector of the front line, Russian forces had started digging tunnels as part of their effort to capture the city of Avdiivka, in the Donetsk region, Anton Kotsukon, a spokesman for a Ukrainian brigade fighting to defend the city, said on national television on Saturday.
“Heavy fighting is taking place every day,” Mr. Kotsukon said, referring to the Russian assault. “Every day, they deploy additional forces to conduct assault operations.”