A daytime artillery attack on Kharkiv’s central area was launched by Russian forces on Tuesday, resulting in a deadly strike on a play school, official reports have now confirmed. 

At least five people were killed and nine were injured during the attack, which also included missiles being fired at a recreation park near the kindergarten facility where civilians were sunbathing.

Oleh Synehubov, governor of Kharviv Oblast, further confirmed the news on the Telegram messaging app, writing: “At least 4 people died and 4 more were injured as a result of the shelling of the central part of Kharkiv.”

The European Expert Association in Ukraine’s research director, Maria Avdeeva, commented on the devastating attack, stating, “Daytime brutal artillery attack on central part of Kharkiv. 5 people killed, 9 injured. All Russia can do is kill.”

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According to city officials, Russian shelling also struck residential areas of the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, resulting in the deaths of two people and the destruction of homes.

Eyewitness accounts said the strike killed a woman in a home that was right next to a school.

The attack on the Kindergarten facility led to a strong condemnation from Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska: “Will Amnesty International write about it? Will church leaders remember? Russia shows its essence to the world again.”

Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky has prompted Russian troops to flee for their lives as his forces continue their counteroffensive close to the occupied city of Kherson, asserting that they are reclaiming their territory.

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The meeting in Paris will be a chance for participants to "reaffirm heir determination to defeat the war of aggression waged by Russia in Ukraine", the French presidency said.

Mr Zelensky promised that Ukrainian troops would pursue the Russian army “to the border”, in a nightly address at the beginning of the week.

“If they want to survive – it’s time for the Russian military to run away. Go home,” he said, adding that “Ukraine is taking back its own.”

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