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Tragic toll: Kharkiv’s losses revealed as hypermarket victims identified

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko declared the conclusion of search operations at the Kharkiv hypermarket deliberately attacked by Russian aerial bombs.
Aftermath of the Russian attack on hypermarket in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
The aftermath of the Russian attack on a hypermarket in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on 25 May 2024. Source: The State Emergency Service of Ukraine
Tragic toll: Kharkiv’s losses revealed as hypermarket victims identified

Search operations in Kharkiv have been finished, and rescuers have identified the bodies of all the victims of the strike on the “Epicenter” hypermarket, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko reported on social media.

Despite claims of seeking peace with Ukraine, on 25 May, Russia launched an airstrike on the crowded hypermarket in Kharkiv’s Kyivsky district. Two Russian aerial bombs hit it on a weekend when civilians were shopping. A fire broke out at the site, covering 15,000 square meters.

“Search operations at the construction hypermarket in Kharkiv have been completed. The police have identified all 19 bodies of those killed in the Russian airstrikes carried out by its military on Saturday, 25 May,” the minister stated.

According to him, “it was not easy” — the victims of Russian occupation troops were searched for four days with special equipment and were identified with the assistance of DNA laboratory employees.

“Forensic experts conducted over 100 examinations. Sixteen relatives of the missing contacted the police, providing biological samples for analysis. We also involved dog handlers — a service dog discovered one body and one fragment. I am grateful to everyone for their work,” added Klymenko.

He informed that 12 men and seven women were killed in the strikes. Among them were a 17-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. Another 54 people were injured.

Previously, Russia opened a new front in Ukraine, attacking the Kharkiv region. The city of Vovchansk found itself at the center of an offensive and was almost completely destroyed. Thousands of people were evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine.

Russia’s goal is to encircle Kharkiv and shell it with artillery to undermine the spirit of Ukrainians and exhaust resources. Experts say that the solution to stop invaders is Western weapons and permission to strike military targets inside Russia, as Kharkiv is located close to the aggressor country’s border.

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