Anguished mourners from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv gathered on Monday to bury a family of five, including three small children, who were killed over the weekend in a Russian drone attack.

The blast, which hit a petrol station overnight on Saturday, sent torrents of fuel into a neighbouring street, burning residents alive in what one onlooker called a "river of fire".

Grieving family members, including the children's grandmother, carried yellow posies and bouquets of red roses as they walked to the cemetery in Ukraine's north east on Monday.

A priest could be seen walking stoically alongside the coffins, sprinkling them with holy water, as visibly anguished family members clutched flowers and wept.

A seven-year-old, a four-year-old and a ten-month-old boy were killed in the attack, along with their mother and father. A couple was also killed.


Ten-month-old Pavel was buried in the same coffin as his mother.

"Let everyone who supports the war, who is for this idiot Putler... Let them burn with the same flames as my children burned alive," their grandmother, Tetyana Putyatina, said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The "Putler" moniker is a derogatory nickname that combines Putin's surname with that of Adolf Hitler.

"What did these little children die for? Seven years, four and ten months? Children, son and daughter-in-law," she said. "I don't know how I'll get through this. I do not know."

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Fighters of the Ukrainian Third Assault Brigade entered the dugouts where the Russian military was hiding and engaged in close combat, resulting in the capture of three Russian soldiers.

Relatives were later seen gently placing teddy bears, flowers and toys on top of the graves.

Over 500 children are thought to have been killed since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The drone attack on Saturday sparked furious condemnation from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, who called it an act of Russian "terror".

"These children had not yet seen life, but were killed as a result of Russian madness," he said in a social media post. "Russia must be held accountable for every life it has harmed and ruined."

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