Ukrainian officials announced Monday that dozens of civilians were killed and hundreds more wounded when Russian forces began firing at civilian areas in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
Oleh Synehubov, head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, called the attacks “a war crime,” saying “the Russian enemy is shelling entire residential areas of Kharkiv, where there is no critical infrastructure, where there are no positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that the Russians could aim at.”
Delegations from Ukraine and Russia met in Belarus on Monday morning in an attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, as Russia’s stock exchange remains closed and the ruble plummets.
A regional leader in Ukraine’s second biggest city, Kharkiv, said Monday that at least 11 civilians were killed and dozens injured by Russian shelling of the city.
“The Russian enemy is bombing residential areas,” regional governor Oleg Sinegubov wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “As a result of the bombardments that are ongoing, we cannot call on the emergency services… currently there are 11 dead and dozens wounded.”
According to the Elysée, Russian President Vladimir Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday that he’ll stop strikes against civilian targets.
Putin also told Macron he’ll preserve civilian infrastructure to secure main roads, including the road south of Kyiv, according to the French government. Macron and Putin will speak again this week, the Elysée said.