Ukraine: Russian shelling hits Kharkiv city centre

L’immeuble qui semble avoir été touché n’est pas le bâtiment municipal : il se situe en face de la rue.
L’immeuble qui semble avoir été touché n’est pas le bâtiment municipal : il se situe en face de la rue. © @ignis_fatum / Google Street View

For the past four days, Kharkiv, the second largest Ukrainian city, has been targeted by Russian army bombings. On Wednesday, March 2, a building in the centre was the target of an attack. Multiple images taken by citizens and verified by our editorial staff confirm this.


A video of the attack was posted on social networks late morning on Wednesday, March 2 (see below) with the tweet: "Air strikes on Kharkiv city center".

In this video we can see a river, a building and a modern bridge crossing the riverbank with a plume of smoke in the background. We found the exact location where this video was shot in Kharkiv city centre.

Other photos and videos (here and here) were taken just after the strike, which probably took place in the morning. These images show that the hit building is right in front of the Kharkiv City Hall.

© @ignis_fatum / Google Street View

The images shared on social networks show a distinctive bell tower (green) and a building (red). This confirms that the video was taken in the centre of Kharkiv: the building outlined in red is the city hall.

© @ignis_fatum / Google Street View

The building hit by the air strike is not the municipal building, but it is nearby, across the street. Credit: @ignis_fatum / Google Street View.


Another, even more impressive video was shot close to the bombed building. It shows a man taking a selfie before looking up when he hears the sound of a fighter jet. This is followed by a very violent explosion, which forces him to take refuge inside the building.

At the time of the bombing, which hit Kharkiv city centre, this man was just a few metres from the point of impact.

We were able to confirm this by carefully analysing the surroundings seen in the video, including the reflection in the window behind the man filming. We also observed details of the building by watching the footage in slow-motion. 

We found the location of this building, which is dark brown and has white windows (visible here on Google Street View).

© Google Street View / @Osinttechnical

In the video of the man taking a selfie, it is possible to make out a dark building with white windows (see screenshots on the right of this montage). We found this building: it is located in the centre of Kharkiv, very close to the area hit by a Russian bombing on Wednesday, March 2 (see left, images of this building recovered from Google Street View). Credit: Google Street View / @Osinttechnical.


Kharkiv being surrounded by the Russian army

In addition to the shelling, the Russian army is manoeuvring to encircle the town.

A video, also released on Wednesday, March 2, shows Russian armoured vehicles crossing the town of Balakliya, 60 km south of Kharkiv.

We have analysed and authenticated the video: it was filmed in the centre of the town of Balakliya. Russian soldiers are heading north towards Kharkiv.

Since February 28, Kharkiv has been targeted daily by Russian army strikes. On Tuesday, March 1, civilian buildings were hit, including the regional administration building, residential buildings and warehouses.

>> Read more on The Observers: Ukraine: Civilian buildings in Kharkiv in crosshairs of Russian shelling