Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday described Russian shelling of his country’s second city as a war crime and said defending the capital from Moscow’s army was a top priority.
“The strike against Kharkiv is a war crime. This is state terrorism on the part of Russia," Zelensky said in a video statement.
The central square of Kharkiv was shelled earlier on Tuesday by advancing Russian forces, who hit the building of the local administration.
An AFP reporter saw the windows of the building blown out and rubble all around it. Emergency service employees evacuated people injured in the attack.
Kharkiv has been a target for Russian forces since President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday.
“Kharkiv and Kyiv are now Russia’s most important objectives. The terror aims to break us and break our resistance," Zelensky said.
“They advance on the capital in the same way as on Kharkiv. This is why the defence of the capital today is the key priority for the state," he added in the video.