A school and a cultural center in which civilians were sheltering were almost entirely destroyed early on Monday, July 25, as more than 10 Russian S-300 missiles were launched at Chuhuiv in Ukraine’s Kharkiv Oblast, local officials said.
At least two people were rescued from the wreckage of Chuhuiv’s House of Culture on Monday morning, but three people remained trapped under the rubble on Monday evening, officials said. It was unknown if they had survived the attack.
Efforts to reach the three victims continued throughout the day but, as hours passed and evening fell, the chances of finding survivors was decreasing steadily, said security specialist Maria Avdeeva, reporting from the scene.
According to Dumka, the Kharkiv-based news service that provided this footage, one of the survivors managed to use his phone to speak to relatives and rescuers and was rescued from the rubble after more than two hours. His brother and two women remained trapped in the debris, the survivor told Dumka.
The head of Kharkiv’s regional government, Oleg Sinegubov, said rescuers were “doing their best” to reach the victims under the House of Culture.
A missile that devastated a nearby school did not cause any casualties but did destroy the school’s autonomous boiler room, said Sinegubov, who described the loss as “colossal.”
According to Suspilne, Ukraine’s public broadcasting service, Ihor Ovcharuk – the head of the demining unit at Ukraine’s State Emergency Service – said the Russian-made S-300 missiles are usually used in surface-to-air strikes. Using them to hit targets on the ground causes “a fragmentation effect” that can lead to multiple metal shards striking victims indiscriminately. Ovcharuk said such missiles must be guided by the operator for them to reach their targets, Suspilne reported.
A war crime investigation had been launched in response to the strikes, the Kharkiv Region Prosecutor’s Office said. Credit: dumka.media via Storyful