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BBC Reporter Narrowly Escapes Russian Rocket Attack In Kharkiv

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BBC Reporter Narrowly Escapes Russian Rocket Attack In Kharkiv

A BBC reporter narrowly escaped a Russian rocket attack in Ukraine yesterday afternoon.

BBC's Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville was in northeastern city Kharkiv yesterday (17 March) when Russian Grad rockets began to rain down.

The reporter was seen taking cover while telling a driver still outside to 'get in' before saying that Russians 'are taking out their anger with artillery'.

He added: "Away from the front, no neighbourhood is safe. Russian Grad rockets fall all around us. This is the reckless targeting of human life."

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Sommerville has vast experience covering conflicts worldwide, having previously been in Kabul when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan last year.

He also reported alongside Iraqi troops when they reclaimed Mosul from Isis in 2017.

However, his coverage in Ukraine amid Vladimir Putin's attack has been some of his most challenging yet.


Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, has fell victim to attacks from rockets known as Grads, which continues to kill soldiers and civilians.

Although the current civilian death toll is unknown, Kharkiv police suggested around 250 civilians have been killed, including 13 children, since the conflict began.

Kharkiv’s police chief, Volodymyr Timoshko, told The Washington Post: “They want to destroy as much as they can.

"Putin’s like a crazy man cutting down the flowers in the street just because he doesn’t like them.”

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Earlier today, it was revealed that morale is so low for Russian forces in Ukraine that soldiers are reportedly searching for discarded Ukrainian ammunition in order to shoot themselves so they can be sent home.

An intercepted call, shared by Eastern European news service Nexta, revealed Russian soldiers are apparently willing to injure themselves with their own weapons just to get out of Ukraine.

In a translation of the intercepted audio, a man can be heard calling his mother back in Russia.


The call was intercepted by the Ukrainian Security Service, who decided to broadcast it to show what the situation was like on the warfront.

In the call, he told her they are searching for 7.62 bullets fired by Ukrainian soldiers, instead of the 5.62 ammo fired by their Russian AK-74s to make it seem they were injured in battle.

The man, clearly desperate to escape the battlefield horrors of Ukraine, explained to his mother that he can't just return home as those who refuse Putin can face prison sentences for roughly eight years.


So, he alleges some troops have started giving each other flesh wounds 'so they would put some bandages on and sent us to the hospital in Budennovsk' in southern Russia.

The soldier claims at least '120' people have already been 'sent back to the hospital with wounds'. However, he also warned the Ukrainian military has blown up all their equipment and he's now fearing for his life.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Ukraine, Russia, World News

Daisy Phillipson
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