Kharkiv woman rescued after Russian shelling

STORY: Valentina Popovichuk was woken up in her apartment in Kharkiv in the early morning hours of Monday morning by a cloud of dust falling down on her bed.

She ran to the bathroom only to find herself under chunks of rubble raining down on her from the floor above.

Russian weapons pounding Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv killed at least three people on Monday, authorities said, while rescuers pulled survivors from the rubble of an earlier strike on an apartment block that killed 19 people in another city.

The artillery, multiple rocket launcher and tank attack on Kharkiv also injured 31 people including two children, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said. The Ukrainian president's office said residential areas had been hit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin calls the conflict a "special military operation" to demilitarise neighbouring Ukraine and rid it of nationalists threatening Russian speakers. Ukraine and its Western allies say Putin's war is an imperial-style land grab and has accused his forces of war crimes.

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