In Kharkiv, powerful missiles hit central areas and plans for the future.


KHARKIV, Ukraine — Lately, the missiles have come mostly at night, or shortly after dawn.

Residents of Ukraine’s second-largest city have been jolted awake by the explosions that have reverberated across the city in recent days. Many of the strikes hit industrial areas, including warehouses and yards used by the Ukrainian military, but at least three have hit parks, breaking trees and carving huge craters in the earth.

Civilian casualties have been few, and most residents who stroll out to assess the damage say they escaped with only broken windows and damaged balconies.

Most of the damage has been to industrial areas. Military losses, if there are any, are not officially announced, and access to those compounds is strictly prohibited, but the damage has spilled over to civilian enterprises nearby.

Two missiles landed in a mechanic’s shop next to an industrial compound on Wednesday morning, incinerating the vehicles on site and badly damaging offices. The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, said the missiles had been fired from a Russian S-300 missile system.

“It was my business, for 10 years,” Oleksii Ovcharov said as he walked through the wreckage of a dozen burned vehicles.

Amid the destruction were his pride and joy: two competition-level all-terrain vehicles, reduced to piles of burned and tangled metal. His office, filled with cups and prizes from competitions in Ukraine, Romania and Russia, was still standing.

Mr. Ovcharov, 35, said he and his partners had dreamed of competing one day in the Dakar Rally, the great off-road race across the desert. But as he looked around at the destruction surrounding him, his words trailed off until he was silent.


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