Up to 11 civilians, including a child, were killed and between 20 and 35 others were injured by an alleged Russian rocket attack on Kharkiv Administration building on Svobody Square in Kharkiv on March 1, 2022.
The Kharkiv Human Rights Group reported that at 8:02am, a rocket attack struck the building of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration and Freedom Square, killing 10 people and injuring more than 35 others. At the time of the explosions, there were security forces, military personnel and volunteers in the building. The bombing led to the destruction of a large part of the building, including the chairman’s office, and damage to two buildings of the University of Kharkiv, including knocking out the windows. AP described the damage to the building as blowing out windows, collapsing ceilings, in addition to crushing a nearby car.
Suspilne Kharkiv posted on Telegram that according to the State Emergency Service, at least 10 people were killed and more than 20 were injured as a result of the attack. Action on Armed Violence, a source aggregator, reported that six civilians, including a child, were killed in the central square in Kharkiv and 10 civilians were killed and over 20 others were wounded in Kharkiv government building. A tweet from @Tykubovych put the number killed at 11.
A tweet from @VoicesBelarus reported that the first explosion hit Svoboda Square near the regional administration building and the second rocket hit the building itself. AP added that within the square, the missiles had hit a tent encampment that had been set up to collect aid for the Ukrainian fighters. Ukrinform quoted the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas who said that the Slovenia consulate was destroyed as “collateral diplomatic damage”
A Telegram post from Russian war correspondent Kotenok Z stated that members of Azov and the Ukrainian territorial defenses were killed in Kharkiv but did not give any locational or victim information. Another source which has expressed Russian sympathies, Kharkov Nash, also asserted that since the regional administration had become the military administration, and Azov troops were stationed there, “it is most likely that Russian troops really struck” but then contradicted their statement by saying that the shelling was from the direction of Sokolniki, and since the Russians do not have forces there, it is likely a “stray”.
According to the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, discussing the findings of a Bellingcat investigation, a Russian 3M54-1 “Caliber” cruise missile, also known as “Klub” (Club), was used in the attack. A tweet by @christogrozev from Bellingcat explains that they were able to enhance a CCTV video that shows the moment of impact of the missile. Experts have noted that this weapon is not available in Ukraine and has become the primary weapon for Russian Navy ground strikes.
Russian state-run media RT quoted Colonel Viktor Baranets who said that “I believe it was a deliberate strike by the Ukrainian army against those Kharkiv citizens who are dissatisfied with the city administration. Both Putin, Shoigu, and Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov categorically and strictly ordered the participants in the operation that not only a shell, a grenade, a bullet should not fly into social buildings. He added that, tentatively, this strike was carried out with 152 mm caliber, which is forbidden by the Minsk agreements. And also that the missile flew from a direction where there are no Russian troops.”
This assessment has reference to ACLED code UKR52470.
The incident occured at 08:02:00 local time.
Sources (53) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (4) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the Kharkiv Regional State Administration (Харківська обласна рада) building being struck. Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 50.004280, 36.236418.