Kharkiv devastated as rescuers dig through rubble after Russian strike

Rescue crews have been working around the clock, but their efforts to locate survivors trapped under the rubble have been painfully slow. As of Monday morning, they had managed to clear just 30% of the debris field, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Situations Service.

 A residential area in Kharkiv after a Russian missile strike obliterated rows of apartment buildings. Huge mounds of metal and concrete spill across the streets in what emergency officials are calling “the epicentre.”

Rescue crews have been working around the clock, but their efforts to locate survivors trapped under the rubble have been painfully slow. As of Monday morning, they had managed to clear just 30% of the debris field, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Situations Service.

The grim toll so far: 16 bodies recovered, but an unknown number still missing and presumed buried under the ruins of homes that became makeshift tombs.

Neighbours and family members linger at the perimeter, many keeping vigil in hopes of miraculous rescues, while others begin the agonizing process of grieving loved ones killed in Sunday night’s strike.

Olena Korop watched helplessly as the building she called home for over 20 years disintegrated before her eyes. Russia has intensified its bombardment of Kharkiv and other cities in recent weeks as its forces have been beaten back from the capital Kyiv and other territories. The strikes appear aimed at wreaking indiscriminate havoc and breaking the resilience of Ukraine’s defiant population.

But amid the devastation in Kharkiv, steely determination could be seen etched on the faces of emergency workers carefully sifting through each heap of rubble for any signs of life, though the probability of the same seems to faint as the clock ticks.

As night fell, the sounds of heavy machinery working to clear away the aftermath echoed through the shattered streets of this brutalized city at war.