At least 21 people have been killed and 112 others injured in an air strike on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Russia’s Defense Ministry has claimed that Russian forces have taken control of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
Authorities say Russian missile strikes took place in the center of Ukraine’s second-largest city, according to media reports.
The airstrikes came as US President Joe Biden on Wednesday called Vladimir Putin a “dictator” and warned that sanctions would be stepped up to paralyze Russia’s economy.
In his first State of the Union address, Biden praised the Western Alliance’s commitment and expressed solidarity with Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden said, “We will continue to cooperate with Ukraine as long as it stands up for itself. Congress must approve more arms and aid to defend the people of Ukraine.”
“We confronted Russia’s lies with the truth,” he said. Putin is now more lonely in the world than ever before. The world is holding them accountable for what they have done. “
Biden was addressing the State of the Union address at a time when Russian operations were under way in Kharkiv, an apparent attempt by Moscow to seize the first major Ukrainian city.
Russian troops entered Ukraine last week to pursue a mission to overthrow Putin’s Western-backed Ukrainian government, and hundreds of civilians have been killed since then.
Russian forces have carried out large-scale bombings and besieged city centers, but Ukraine says Egypt has not yet captured any major cities.
The Ukrainian military said in a statement on the messaging app Telegram that “Russian air force troops landed in Kharkiv and attacked a local hospital. Fighting continues between the attackers and the Ukrainians.”
Reuters quoted Russia’s state news agency as saying that Russia’s Defense Ministry had claimed on Wednesday that Russian forces had captured Khairsan.