Ukrainian mayor says 21 people killed as school and community center hit by Russian artillery strike

Twenty-one people were killed when Russian artillery destroyed a school and community center in Merefa, near the northeastern city of Kharkiv, officials said. Merefa Mayor Veniamin Sitov said the attack happened just before dawn on Thursday.

The Kharkiv region, like most other major population centers in the east Ukrainecame under heavy bombardment Russian forces stalled try to advance in the area.

A view shows a school building destroyed by an airstrike in the town of Merefa
A school building destroyed by an airstrike as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Merefa, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, is seen in a photo released March 17, 2022.

Press service of the National Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout/REUTERS

Earlier this week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke with the mayor of Kharkiv — Ukraine’s second-largest city — in a bid to help people in her constituency understand what’s going on in Ukraine and to tell his counterpart that more supplies and help were on the way. .

“Strikes from the sky are daily and hourly,” Mayor Ihor Terekhov told Lightfoot during the video call, part of which was broadcast by CBS Chicago. “Bombing (of) peaceful residential buildings. Casualties everywhere.”

“We will continue to send all the help we can,” Lightfoot told him.

An apartment building damaged by shelling in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, on March 8, 2022.


Chernihiv, southeast of Kharkiv, has also been pounded by Russian missile and artillery strikes for weeks. Ukrainian emergency services said a hostel had been bombed, killing a mother, father and three of their children, including 3-year-old twins.

Chernihiv police said in a Facebook post that the Russian military assault on the city killed at least 53 people on Wednesday alone, including 10 who killed him. The United States Embassy in Ukraine said were shot while “queuing for bread”.

‘CBS Evening News’ anchor and editor Norah O’Donnell traveled to the Ukraine-Poland border as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked the displacement crisis of fastest refugees in Europe since World War II. O’Donnell shares first-hand accounts of Ukrainian refugees and examines how NATO prepares as Russia pushes the war in Ukraine close to the Polish border in the 30-minute documentary “Norah O’Donnell Reports: Crisis in Ukraine “, which premieres on Friday, March 18. , at 7:30 p.m. ET on the CBS News app.

Jill E. Washington