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Russia Invades Ukraine

Kharkiv Endures Missile Strikes As Russian Offensive Intensifies

An adviser to Ukraine's interior minister on June 19 cited a heightened risk north of Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, as Russian troops seek to once again make it a "frontline city." Vadym Denysenko told Ukrainian national television that enemy forces are seeking to get closer to Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, in order to shell it. "Russia is trying to make Kharkiv a frontline city," Denysenko said.

Within hours of his warning, Russia's Defense Ministry claimed it had launched Iskander missiles at a tank-repair plant in Kharkiv. Photographers from Reuters and epa documented the devastation caused by the missile attacks, which damaged several educational institutions and an industrial area.

In May, Kharkiv's defenders appeared to have pushed Russian forces back from an encirclement operation around the city. Last week, reports suggested Russian forces had deployed artillery to thwart a Ukrainian counteroffensive near Kharkiv.

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