KHARKIV, Ukraine — A Russian antiaircraft missile hit a sprawling mail facility near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv late Saturday, killing six postal workers and injuring 17 others, local officials said.
Some of the wounded suffered critical injuries, Kharkiv’s governor, Oleh Synyehubov, said on the Telegram messaging app. He said preliminary data indicated that the complex was hit by an S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile.
The blast from the strike blew out a large section of the buildings, and on Sunday morning, the sorting center managed by Ukraine’s largest private postal company, Nova Poshta, was in disarray. Debris littered the site, and a row of mail delivery trucks stood with their sides and roofs blown out. Nova Poshta is involved in helping distribute humanitarian aid across Ukraine amid the war.
The strike was the deadliest for civilians in the Kharkiv region since a Russian missile killed more than 50 people attending a funeral in the village of Hroza, east of Kharkiv city, earlier this month. Ukrainian forces recaptured Kharkiv from Russian troops last year, in one of Kyiv’s most stunning battlefield victories since Russia invaded in February 2022.
But the city’s proximity to the Russian border — about 19 miles — means that Ukrainian air defense forces often have little time to intercept incoming missiles. The strike hit the facility about 30 to 40 seconds after an air raid alert sounded, according to the governor, giving the workers a very short time to run and reach shelter.
Nova Poshta said Sunday that two missiles hit the sorting center, which is located in the village of Novyi Korotych, just outside the city center.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video of the strike’s aftermath on Telegram. In the post, Zelensky called on the world to “strengthen” its unity “in the fight against terror.”
“Russia will not be able to achieve anything through terror and murder,” Zelensky said.
Koshiw reported from Kyiv.