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Russian missiles kill seven Ukrainian civilians as Moscow's forces gain ground

RUSSIAN missiles killed at least seven civilians in Ukraine’s second-largest city early today as Kiev’s army struggled to hold off an intense cross-border offensive by the Kremlin’s larger and better-equipped forces.

At least 16 people were injured as S-300 missiles struck Kharkiv, regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov said. The sound of 15 explosions reverberated around the city of some one million people, which lies in the north-east about 12 miles from the Russian border.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again expressed frustration at not receiving enough air defence systems from the West.

In what is shaping up to be Ukraine’s biggest test since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, outnumbered and outgunned defenders are being pressed at several points along the roughly 600-mile front line.

Its army has been pushed backwards in places while Russian forces pound its electricity grid and civilian areas.

Mr Zelensky said the main hotspots in recent fighting have been Kharkiv and the neighbouring Donetsk region.

Russian troops have also made incursions in the northern Sumy region.

In Liubotyn, about six miles west of Kharkiv, Russian missiles hit the town centre, injuring eight civilians.

In Russia, the Defence Ministry said that 35 Ukrainian rockets and three drones had been shot down over the Belgorod region.

One drone struck a house and exploded, killing a woman.

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