Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s Kharkiv, 17 injured

(Reuters) -Two Russian missiles struck a residential area in the centre of Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv on Tuesday, injuring 17 people, two of them seriously, and badly damaging homes, local officials said.

Rescue teams were sifting through piles of rubble to establish whether others were hurt. The city’s mayor described two “powerful explosions” and said at least 10 dwellings had been damaged.

Ukraine’s Emergency Services, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said one of the missiles had hit a three-storey building that had previously housed a medical centre.

Fires were extinguished in two buildings and residential and other buildings sustained damage.

Regional Police Chief Volodymyr Tymoshko told public broadcaster Suspilne that one of the missiles had hit a roadway.

Emergency services posted online photos showing rescue teams poring over piles of smashed building materials, tackling fires, scrambling up ladders to damaged upper storeys and helping evacuees board minibuses.

Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Synehubov, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said 17 people had been injured. Fourteen were in hospital, including two women who were seriously hurt.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov, also writing on Telegram, said the missiles struck “precisely where there is no military infrastructure and precisely where there are in fact residences.”

“There are at least 10 damaged buildings. Rescue teams are continuing to go through the rubble. And there is plenty of rubble.”

Kharkiv, in Ukraine’s northeast, has been a frequent target of attacks, but in the space of the nearly two-year-old conflict, the city has not fallen into Russian hands. Russian missiles hit a hotel in the city last week, injuring 11 people.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Maria Starkova; Editing by Leslie Adler, David Gregorio and Michael Perry)