Putin has just blown up a disabled care home in Ukraine

Care home for the disabled near Kharkiv, north east Ukraine, hit by Russian shelling, local officials say 

Russia has today blown up a disabled care home near the city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials have said, as Vladimir Putin’s troops stoop to a new low just 48 hours after shelling women as they gave birth in a maternity hospital.

Oleg Sinegubov, an official from Kharkiv which has been under siege by Russian forces for days, accused Putin’s men of committing a ‘war crime’ by launching air strikes against the facility in the town of Oskil which had 330 residents inside at the time the bombs hit.

Sinegubov said 63 care home residents have since been evacuated, but could not give an update on the other 267. Ten of those living at the home require wheelchairs, he said, while another 50 have reduced mobility. Ihor Terekhov, mayor of the city, said another 48 schools have been destroyed by Russian missiles.

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Just 48 hours before the care home was destroyed, Russian jets had bombed a maternity hospital in the southern city of Mariupol as women gave birth inside. The Kremlin has sought to paint those wounded in the attack as ‘crisis actors’ as part of a vile propaganda attempt to dismiss allegations its troops are attacking women and children.

Ukraine says Russian attacks have now killed more civilians than soldiers – without giving an exact figure for either – as the Kremlin’s generals pivot from shock-and-awe-style precision strikes to ‘medieval’ siege warfare. Dnipro, hundreds of miles to the south of Kharkiv, was hit by three strikes early Friday that damaged a kindergarten, a civilian apartment block, and a shoe factory – killing at least one person. 

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But Ukrainian forces continue to fight back, saying successful counter-attacks around the northern city of Chernihiv has recaptured five villages after Russian units took such heavy casualties that they were no longer able to attack effectively. It comes after another successful counter-attack in the same region on Thursday, and a counter-attack to the west of Kyiv which ground a Russian offensive to a halt.

Meanwhile footage showed a Russian Mi-8 helicopter being downed earlier this week, as western-supplied anti-aircraft missiles continue to inflict a heavy toll on Putin’s air forces. It is unclear exactly when or where the footage was taken, though it was first posted to TikTok two days ago before circulating widely today.

Chernihiv is located around 80 miles to the north of Kyiv, where attacks are also underway today in an effort to surround the capital and subject it to the kind of siege already underway elsewhere. Satellite images revealed a 40-mile ‘death convoy’ that had previously clogged up highways nearby is now moving into attack positions.  

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Ukraine believes the capital – which is currently home to around 2million people – could soon be surrounded, after which it faces the same punishing fate meted out to the cities of Mariupol, which has been without water or power for 11 days, Kharkiv, and Sumy, where thousands of civilians have been killed.

Putin’s men are now facing a long and bloody mission to try and take the capital, which is thought to be the main target of their ‘special military operation’ – with the goal being to topple the government and install a puppet regime friendly to Moscow.