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At least two killed and others missing after Russia strikes hardware store in Kharkiv

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At least two people have been killed and 33 injured after a Russian strike hit a large hardware store in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, according to officials.

A further 11 people remain missing, all employees at the shopping center, according to authorities.

Officials have said there were nearly 200 people inside the building when the strike occurred.

“The air raid siren went off and some people managed to get out of the building, roughly 100 people. However there were still people inside the building,” Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said Saturday in an interview on national television.

“Specialized services are responding to the scene. All injured are being provided with assistance,” Syniehubov earlier said. “There is not a single military object nearby,” he added.

The two men who died were employees of the hypermarket, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office, Oleksandr Filchakov, said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the strike a “brutal attack” in a post on X.

Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said that “significant amounts of flammable materials” inside the hypermarket are making firefighting “complicated,” adding that there is also a possibility of the fire spreading further to nearby warehouses.

“At the same time, there is a constant threat of repeated enemy shelling,” Klymenko said.

The attack comes as Russian forces continue to advance in the Kharkiv region after crossing the northern border earlier this month and opening a new front in the conflict.

Seven people were killed in Russian strikes on the city Thursday, after locations including a printing house were targeted.

After Saturday’s attack, Zelensky reiterated that “if Ukraine had enough air defense systems and modern combat aircraft, such Russian strikes would have been impossible.”

“That is why we are appealing to all leaders, to all states: we need a significant strengthening of air defense,” he said.

“This is a task that must be accomplished and can only be done together with the world. Every day we call on the world: give us air defense, save people. Every single withheld decision on support means the loss of our people,” Zelensky added.

Meanwhile, at least two people were killed and at least 10 injured as a result of a Ukrainian strike on a Russian village in the Belgorod region, the region’s governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Saturday.

Among the injured is an 8-year-old boy, he said, adding, “all victims had shrapnel wounds in various parts of the body.”

As a result of the strike, a private residential building caught fire, and about 20 other buildings and 23 cars sustained damage. “All operational services are working on site,” Gladkov said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

This post appeared first on cnn.com