Exclusive: Kharkiv’s mayor claims that striking Russia helped calm the embattled town

BERLIN (Reuters), Tuesday: The mayor of Kharkiv told Reuters that the Ukrainian army had struck Russian missile launchers, reducing the number of attacks against the city.

His comments come after U.S. president Joe Biden approved late last month the use of American arms to strike targets within Russia that are being used to attack Kharkiv (Ukraine’s second largest city, located near the Russian border).

Ihor Terekhov, a Russian journalist and author, said that while missile and drone attacks continue to occur there is a relative “calm” now.

Terekhov replied in an interview with the Berlin-based magazine Der Spiegel, “This has helped” when asked if the ability to strike within Russia had eased the situation after weeks of heavy bombing.

“Perhaps Kharkiv is experiencing a period of calm in the last two weeks, and there haven’t been any major strikes like, say, May.” He was talking through a translation.

Terekhov attends a conference held in Germany to promote European investment and support for Ukraine.

According to the mayor, approximately 11,500 people have arrived in Kharkiv from areas that are being bombarded.

Terekhov also stressed that Western air defences are needed to protect his city.

Ukraine’s inability to shoot down incoming Russian missiles and drones has made it difficult to intercept them. Kyiv’s allies are scrambling for more weapons, but the delivery has been delayed by Washington’s political disputes and the lack available of suitable weapons.

It is important that the weapons are delivered on time. “It is important to have the weapons on time, particularly the multi-defence system.”

Local officials confirm that Russia has continued to threaten Kharkiv with three guided bombs, which damaged at least two homes.

In recent months the attacks have intensified, with more strikes on civilian and energy infrastructure.

In recent months, Moscow’s forces made steady but slow gains on several sections of the vast eastern front. They are now trying to push further into the northeastern Kharkiv area.

The regional capital was repeatedly attacked by Russian missiles and bombs. One attack, on a printing shop in late May, killed at least seven people. Another on a DIY store ended the month of May killed at least 14 people.

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