As the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia had commenced, explosions were heard in Kyiv and Kharkiv in another Russian attack on Ukraine’s major cities. At least 21 people were killed, and 112 more were injured following rocket strikes in Kharkiv, which targeted the city’s Freedom Square and an opera house. No military presence or installations were found within these places, which would indicate that Russia is now targeting civilian populations as the rockets also hit residential buildings. The deaths reportedly included three children, possibly more.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported the incident via his Telegram account, saying that Kharkiv had experienced one of their most difficult days and described the attack as a massacre of Ukrainian people. Furthermore, a family was found to be burned alive inside their car, and another instance of brutality was seen when four people were reportedly killed when they were just finding water. A local hospital was also attacked by the Russians, leaving it heavily damaged by artillery fire.

“The missiles hit residential buildings, killing and injuring peaceful civilians. Kharkiv has not seen such damage for a very long time. And this is horrible,” he said.

Kharkiv’s Freedom Square was also destroyed in the bombing. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the attack as a terrorist attack as no military installations or troops were in the Square. “This is the price of freedom,” said the President.

Videos of the bombing saw a regional administration government building being hit by a missile, causing it to be extremely damaged. As the video shows, civilians driving around the city nearby the government building were directly hit by the missile, instantly killing them.

“It’s terror against the city, against Kharkiv, against Ukraine. There was no military target at the Square, as well as in other residential districts of Kharkiv, which have been hit by rocket artillery. The missile hitting the Central Square is frank, undisguised terror,” Zelensky said in a video message. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the attacks as barbaric and that Putin had been committing war crimes, murdering innocent civilians.

“We call on all countries of the world to immediately and firmly react to such criminal tactics by the aggressor and declare that Russia is carrying out state terrorism. We demand to put terrorists to justice in international courts.”

The most recent report of Russian shelling in the city was that of a Russian missile hitting the National Police building.

Kyiv Hit With Missile Attacks, Zelensky Assassination Thwarted

A Russian airstrike had hit Kyiv’s main TV tower in an attempt to curb information dissemination to the Ukrainian people. Despite the missile attack, the TV tower largely remains intact. At least five people (possibly more) were killed during the attack. A Russian military convoy that had a length of 40 miles was pictured to be headed to Kyiv in what seems to be an invasion campaign to take the capital city. However, the Russian advance has since stalled due to fuel and food shortages.

However, the TV tower was not the only place that had suffered damages. It was later discovered that a missile attack had also hit the Babyn Yar Memorial Complex, which had angered the Israeli and Jewish populations both in Ukraine and worldwide. It is unknown whether the attack was deliberate. However, it is important to note that the television tower is adjacent to the Babyn Yar Memorial Complex. President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted through his Twitter account, drawing parallels between Russia and Nazi Germany.

The Ukrainian President himself, who has a bounty on his head, had been actively hunted down by the Chechen forces. Just a few hours ago, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Chief Oleksiy Danilov announced that they had successfully thwarted an assassination plot against Zelensky as they had eliminated an elite unit of Chechen special forces (also known as the Kadyrovites). It was also said that they were tipped by members of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), many of which were disillusioned.

While no independently verified evidence could be found with the reported assassination attempt, it can be remembered that Zelensky previously announced that he was Russia’s “target number one” and that his family was the second prized target.

Kherson And Mariupol Also Face Heavy Attacks

In the south, the Ukrainian city of Kherson, with a population of over 300,000 Ukrainians, had been completely surrounded by Russian forces where checkpoints were seen to be set up. The Kremlin asserts that it had taken full control of the city, that public transport was working normally, and that Kherson was experiencing no food shortages. However, Kherson Mayor Igor Kolykhaiev claimed they held control of the city and claimed that “We are still Ukraine. Still firm,” through his Facebook account.

The City of Mariupol was also under constant attacks and shelling by the Russian armed forces and was also reportedly completely surrounded by said Russians. According to Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko, they are still defending the city despite the continuous attacks.

“Russian Nazis seek the genocide of the Ukrainian nation,” said Boychenko in an interview with Ukrainian 24 News. “We will fight until the last bullet… if they run out, we will use our teeth against the enemy that is moving towards Mariupol.”

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden, during his first State of the Union address, lauded the Ukrainians’ resolve and bravery in defending their country against Russia. He also expressed continued support for Ukraine, a gesture appreciated by the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, who was in attendance alongside First Lady Jill Biden.

“Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people. He will never extinguish their love of freedom. He will never weaken the resolve of the free world,” he said.

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