Ukrainian family of five die in Russian drone attack in Kharkiv

Ukrainian family of five die in Russian drone attack in Kharkiv
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KYIV (Reuters) -A Ukrainian prosecutor, her husband, and their three small children were among seven people killed after a Russian drone attack on the northeastern city of Kharkiv hit an oil depot, triggering blazes that burned half a street to the ground, officials said on Saturday.

The regional prosecutor's office named the local prosecutor who died along with her children Oleksiy, 7, Mykhailo, 3, and 10-month-old Pavlo as Olha Putyatina and added, "The family was held hostage by a fire inside their own home."

Putyatina, 35, was on maternity leave and had worked in the Kharkiv regional office since June 2012, according to a message on its official Telegram channel. An elderly couple living in the same street were also killed in the attack that Mayor Ihor Terekhov said injured 57 people and razed 15 homes.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Saturday that "Russian terrorists" would be held accountable. "It should be noted that in history, the perpetrators of such murders did not go unpunished," he said.

Terekhov called a day of mourning for Sunday. All of those killed had lived on Kotelnia Street, Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Police in the region, told reporters on the ruined street.

The Ukrainian air force said air defence and mobile groups of drone hunters shot down 23 out of 31 Russian-launched drones that targeted the regions of Kharkiv and Odesa, in the south.

Oleh Kiper, governor of Odesa region, said that drone attack injured four people and damaged industrial facilities, cars, and some port infrastructure.

In Kharkiv, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said several drones hit the oil depot, causing fuel to leak. Firefighters and rescuers worked through the night to extinguish fires and clear the debris. Zelenskiy said in his address that four people had been rescued and dozens evacuated.

Synehubov also said that Russian drones hit a restaurant in the small town of Velykyi Berluk, 100 km (60 miles) from Kharkiv. He reported no casualties there.

Russia did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Moscow has said its forces do not deliberately target civilian sites.

Kharkiv has been under regular attack since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and has been a frequent target of Russian assaults in recent weeks.

(Reporting by Vitalii Hnidyi in Kharkiv, Olena Harmash in Kyiv, and Elaine Monaghan in Washington;Editing by Frances Kerry and Giles Elgood)