Russian drone strike on Kharkiv kills seven

Firefighters rescue a dog as they extinguish a fire following a Russian attack on a residential neighbourhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)
Firefighters rescue a dog as they extinguish a fire following a Russian attack on a residential neighbourhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- A Russian drone strike on Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, killed seven people overnight, including three children, Kharkiv region governor Oleh Syniehubov reported Saturday. Three others sustained injuries, according to the officials.

He said at least 10 drones were launched at Kharkiv, eight of which were shot down. Civilian infrastructure in the Nemyshlyan district of the city was hit, causing a massive fire that burned down 15 private houses, he said.

Syniehubov said an oil depot was hit, causing the fuel to leak out, which prompted the fire. In a Facebook post, Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Police, cited a local resident as seeing "a true hell: first the fuel flowed, then everything caught fire."

Bolvinov said a family of five -- including children ages 7, 4 and 9 months -- burned alive, trapped in their house as the fire raged. Two other adults were killed by the blaze in another house that burned down, he said.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said more than 50 people had been evacuated and that emergency workers had contained the blaze by Saturday morning.

In an online statement, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered his condolences to the relatives of all the victims and said "terror can't remain unpunished. Terror can't remain without a fair response. Terrorists must lose this war they had started. Russia must be held accountable for every life it ruined and destroyed."

The Ukrainian air force said air defense systems destroyed 23 out of 31 Iranian Shahed drones launched by Russia overnight. The drones primarily targeted the northeastern Kharkiv region and the southern province of Odesa, the statement said.

Odesa regional governor Oleh Kiper said four people were injured there by the overnight drone attacks.

The attacks came in three waves, he said. The first targeted the regional capital -- the port city of Odesa. All nine drones were shot down, but the debris damaged port infrastructure and injured one person.

The second and the third waves targeted port infrastructure in the Danube river area, Kiper said. A total of 12 drones were shot down and three people were injured.

Romania's Ministry of National Defense said Saturday that Russia carried out overnight drone attacks on Ukraine's river ports of Ismail and Reni, near the border with Romania.

The ministry said that an F-16 jet of the Turkish Air Force was deployed from a Romanian airbase around 1:15 a.m. to carry out "reconnaissance missions" in national airspace to monitor the situation. Text alerts were also issued to residents in two counties adjacent to the attacks.

NATO member Romania has discovered drone debris on its territory several times before, following sustained attacks on Ukraine's port infrastructure as Moscow attempted to disrupt Kyiv's ability to export grain and other produce to world markets.

The Russian Defense Ministry, in the meantime, accused Ukraine of targeting Russia's civilian transport vessels Friday evening in the Black Sea with sea drones. One such drone was destroyed, the ministry said, and others were jammed, with no damage to the ships.

The ministry didn't say how many sea drones were used or how many ships were targeted. There was no immediate comment from Kyiv's officials on the alleged attack.

photo Firefighters rescue a dog as they extinguish a fire following a Russian attack on a residential neighbourhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)
photo Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)
photo Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)
photo Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)
photo Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)
photo Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Yevhen Titov)
photo Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on residential neighbourhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. Seven people including three children were killed in the Russian drone attack, said the city administration. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)
photo Firefighters carry a body of a resident killed in a fire as a Russian drone hit his home in a residential neighbourhood, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. Seven people including three children were killed in the Russian drone attack, said the city administration. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)
photo Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. According to the city administration, about a dozen private houses were under fire and scores of people were evacuated after Russian drones strike on a residential area. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)