Lethal missile strikes in Kharkiv hit sites related to Ukraine’s military, a new pattern.


KHARKIV, Ukraine — Two missile strikes hit military compounds in central Kharkiv just before dawn on Friday, the latest in a series of powerful nighttime strikes on the city that seem increasingly targeted at sites used by the Ukrainian armed forces.

At least two soldiers died, according to rescue workers and police officers at the scene.

Ukrainian officials rarely release information on military casualties or damage done to military sites and forbid photographers from recording the destruction at them. The head of the regional administration in Kharkiv, Oleh Synyehubov, said only that a 71-year-old civilian had been wounded in the head from the blasts.

On Friday, soldiers and emergency workers covered in brick dust cleared away the rubble from the courtyard of a two-story building. Two vehicles, an S.U.V. and a jeep, caked in dust and crushed by falling debris, had been dragged out into the street.

An officer in plainclothes asked reporters to leave, explaining that the site was a military building.

Across the street, a second missile demolished a wing of the Agricultural Institute. Soldiers guarded the gate, and other soldiers loaded boxes into vehicles at the entrance of a building.

The gardens of the institute were full of old vehicles, including three damaged Russian armored vehicles. One was marked with the letter “Z,” which is one of the code signs used by Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.

While much of the Russian bombardment of Kharkiv has seemed random and indiscriminate, some recent strikes by ballistic missiles — including on Wednesday morning — have landed in or near compounds and buildings used by the Ukrainian military, suggesting a more calculated targeting by Russian forces.


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