Aftermath of a Russian air strike, in Kharkiv Aftermath of a Russian air strike, in Kharkiv 

Ukraine Evacuating Children As Russian Forces Approach Kharkiv

As Pope Francis met with Ukrainian children, authorities announced the mandatory evacuation of orphans and children without parents from the hard-hit area around Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv. Ukraine has appealed for more Western weapons as it struggles to halt a new Russian military offensive.

By Stefan J. Bos  

Listen to Stefan Bos' report

After another nighttime Russian attack destroyed trains and tracks in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region, authorities announced they are organizing the evacuation of children from the area. 

With Russian forces devastating the area in a powerful new offensive, officials said over the next 60 days, at least 123 orphans and children living without their parents would be evacuated.

Earlier, Russia hit Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv with missiles Thursday, killing at least seven people in a printing house and injuring many more. 

The owner says the strike would reduce Ukraine's book printing capacity by up to 40 percent. 

"This is the largest enterprise of its kind in Ukraine. Textbooks, literature, this is a national problem," said Serhiy Polituchy, the owner of the Faktor-Druk printing plant. "We will not be able to publish them on time this year if we do not recover quickly," he warned. 

The strikes came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the West to send more weapons to halt Moscow's increased attacks. 

Explosions reverberating 

Ukrainian authorities said that besides those killed, at least 20 people were wounded when S-300 missiles struck Kharkiv on Thursday. 

Explosions have reverberated around the city of some 1 million people, with a mother of one saying that it was a terrible morning for her and her baby and that the windows shook a lot. 

Authorities said that besides orphans, they already evacuated more than 11,000 people from the Kharkiv region since Russia launched an offensive there on May 10. 

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25 May 2024, 17:22