LVIV: Russian missile attacks hit the centre of Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv, including the regional administration building and residential areas, Kharkiv region head Oleg Synegubov said on Tuesday (Mar 1).
Synegubov said Russia launched GRAD and cruise missiles on Kharkiv but that the city defence was holding.
"Such attacks are genocide of the Ukrainian people, a war crime against the civilian population!" he said.
Wearing a flak jacket and a helmet, Synegubov said in a video posted on social media on Tuesday morning that it was too early to know the number of casualties.
He shared a video showing Kharkiv regional administration building being hit by a missile and exploding. Reuters verified the authenticity of the video.
"This morning the central square of our city and the headquarters of the Kharkiv administration was criminally attacked," Synegubov said in a Telegram video.
"Russian occupiers continue to use heavy weaponry against the civilian population."
Kharkiv, a largely Russian-speaking city near the Russian border, has a population of around 1.4 million.
It has been a target for Russian forces since President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour's military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.
Separately, an official in the region of Sumy, which lies north of Kharkiv close to Russia's border, said early on Monday that about 70 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in Russian shelling on a military facility in the area.
"Many died. Currently, places are being prepared in the cemetery for about 70 dead Ukrainian soldiers," Dmytro Zhyvytsky, the head of the Sumy region, wrote on Telegram after strikes on the town of Okhtyrka.
He posted images of charred buildings with caved-in walls and rescue workers digging through rubble.
The Ukrainian military, however, has not confirmed the deaths.
Russia has denied targeting civilian areas despite rockets landing in residential neighbourhoods.
Ukraine says more than 350 civilians have been killed since Moscow launched the attack last week.