On Sunday, February 27, Russian forces invaded Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, sparking fierce fighting.
After “heavy street fighting and rocket fire,” the mayor announced that the city remained in Ukrainian handsreports The Washington Post.
One woman described the shelling as “something like Star Wars over your head,” BBC News reports.
Russia has launched invasion of Ukraine on three fronts early on Thursday, February 24, “bombed cities, towns and villages” as forces advanced to the capital of Kiev.
“We do not lay down arms,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, February 26. “We will defend our country, because our weapons are the truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all this.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed his military forces protect citizens in eastern Ukraine, who want to rejoin Russia, reports BBC News. Zelensky and President Joe Biden dismissed the statements.
“President Putin has chosen deliberate war it will bring catastrophic loss of life and human suffering, ”Biden said in a statement announcing additional sanctions against Russia.
Ukrainian forces are offering “very strong resistance”, especially in Kiev, which is under heavy attack by Russia artillery and cruise missiles, according to Reuters.
Ukraine, the second largest country in Europe by land, was part of the former Soviet Union declared independence in 1991. Not a member of NATO.
Here’s what you need to know about Kharkiv:
How big is Kharkiv?
Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, has Fr. population 1.4 millionaccording to the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.
The city covers about 115 square miles and is divided into nine districts.
Where is Kharkiv?
Kharkiv is located at the confluence of the rivers Lopan, Uda and Kharkiv near the Donetsk basin, according to the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.
It is only 26 miles from the Russian border, which makes Kharkiv extremely vulnerable during the invasion of Ukraine, according to NewsNation.
What is the history of Kharkov?
Founded in 1655 as military outpost To protect Russia’s southern borders, Kharkiv’s key trading position and fertile soil led the city to rapid expansion in the 18th century, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Kharkiv was the capital of Ukraine, which was under Soviet control from 1920 to 1934, before the transfer of the capital to Kiev. The city suffered badly in World War II, changing several times between the USSR and Nazi Germany.
Kharkiv, spelled in Russian Kharkiv, pronounced CAR-cafeaccording to Merriam Webster.
What is Kharkiv famous for?
The city remains one of the Ukrainian key transportation hubs and is “an exceptionally beautiful city and a major industrial, scientific and cultural center,” according to Eurocities.
According to the website, there are more than 60 universities and colleges in Kharkiv.
It is also a leading manufacturer of machinery and electronics, including “diesel locomotives, machine tools, mining machines, tractors and other agricultural machinery, bicycles, generators, steam turbines and many electrical products,” according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Freedom Square in Kharkov – one of the largest public places in the world, according to Discover Ukraine. It was built shortly after Ukraine joined the former Soviet Union.
Why is Russia attacking Kharkiv?
Along with proximity to the Russian border and strategic importance as a transportation hub, Kharkiv has strong cultural ties with Russia, NewsNation reports.
The majority of Kharkiv’s population speaks Russian, and many people travel here and there between countries for trade or to visit family. But this does not mean that the city is helping Russia in the current conflict.
“If you ask me if the people of Kharkiv want Ukraine to be friends with Russia, the answer will be clear,” – said Mayor Igor Terekhov, writes NewsNation. “But they want war? Definitely not. Do they want us to be part of Russia? Of course not. “
This story was originally published February 27, 2022 07:12.