Russia’s military bombed residential areas across Ukraine overnight as Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive to try to retake an occupied southern region and destroyed the last working bridge over a river in the Russian-held Kherson region, Ukrainian authorities said today with.
According to the mayor, three people were killed and 13 others injured in a Russian rocket attack on the city of Kramatorsk on Friday.
Kramatorsk is the headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the country’s war-torn east.
The attack came less than a day after 11 more rockets were fired at the city, one of the two main Ukrainian-held cities in Donetsk province, which is the focus of an ongoing Russian offensive to seize eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region.
Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday claimed its forces had taken control of Pisky, a village on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk, the provincial capital claimed by pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.
Russian forces and Kremlin-backed rebels are attempting to seize Ukrainian-controlled areas north and west of the city of Donetsk in a bid to expand the self-proclaimed separatist republic.
But Ukraine’s military said on Saturday that its forces prevented a night advance towards the smaller towns of Avdiivka and Bakhmut.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov also claimed that Russian attacks near Kramatorsk, 75 miles north of the city of Donetsk, destroyed a US-supplied multiple rocket launcher and ammunition.
Ukrainian authorities did not concede military casualties but said Russian rocket attacks on Kramatorsk on Friday destroyed 20 residential buildings.
None of the claims could be independently verified.
The Ukrainian governor of neighboring Luhansk province, which is part of the battle for the Donbass region and was overrun by Russian forces last month, claimed that Ukrainian troops still occupied a small area.
Luhansk Governor Serhii Haidai wrote on Telegram that defending troops remained entrenched in an oil refinery on the outskirts of Lysyhansk, a city Moscow allegedly captured, and also controlled areas near a village.
“The enemy is burning the ground at the approaches to the Luhansk region because they cannot cross those few kilometers (along the Ukrainian resistance),” Haidai said.
“It is difficult to count how many thousands of shells this territory of the Luhansk Free Oblast has withstood in the last month and a half.”
Further west, the governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region reported another Russian shelling of the town of Nikopol, which lies across the Dnieper River from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Governor Yevhen Yevtushenko did not say whether Russian troops shot at Nikopol from the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
In a letter to Telegram on Saturday, he said there were no injuries, but residential buildings, a power line and a gas line were damaged.
Nikopol has been bombed daily for most of the past week, and a volley of shells on Thursday killed three people and damaged 40 homes, he said.
Russian and Ukrainian officials have been accusing each other for days of shelling the Zaporizhia power plant in violation of nuclear safety regulations.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military has been trying for several weeks to lay the groundwork for a counteroffensive to retake the Russian-held Kherson region of southern Ukraine.
A local Ukrainian official reported Saturday that a Ukrainian strike had damaged the region’s last working bridge over the Dnieper and further crippled Russian supply lines.
“Russians are no longer able to fully deliver their equipment,” Serhii Khlan, a deputy for the Kherson regional council, wrote on Facebook.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/russias-military-pounds-residential-areas-across-ukraine-41909739.html Russia’s military bombs residential areas across Ukraine