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'intentionally trying to eliminate Ukrainian people'

Mayor of Kharkiv says Russian military is 'purposefully' targeting residential buildings

The mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, believes that Russian forces are "intentionally trying to eliminate Ukrainian people" by targeting civilian areas, he told CNN on Friday.

Mayor Ihor Terekhov said that since Russian troops arrived in the city, "the situation has been extremely difficult." Kharkiv "has been hard impacted by continuous bombardment," he continued. "Planes are flying constantly, [rockets] are being launched, grenades are launched, and residential houses are being hit."

Ukrainian troops are not being housed or stationed in residential areas, Terekhov said, which means Russia is "purposefully hitting" civilian buildings. Since the siege began in Kharkiv this week, "a great number" of civilians have been killed, and many more wounded, Terekhov said. Ukraine's State Emergency Service released numbers on Thursday, saying in 24 hours, 34 civilians were killed and 285 injured.