Russian strikes on military facilities and residential buildings across war-scarred Ukraine Thursday left several dead in attacks President Volodymyr Zelensky described as “missile terrorism”.
The deadliest attacks, which struck the central Kyrovograd region, came as the country was marking its first Day Of Ukraine Statehood that was announced by Zelensky earlier.
Russia’s invasion has morphed into a gruelling war of attrition and frontline artillery battles. Both sides are striking targets behind the frontlines to dent the others ability to fight a protracted conflict.
“Twenty-five people have been transferred to medical facilities and are receiving treatment. Five are dead,” the region’s governor Andriy Raikovich said in a video on his social media.
The Interfax-Ukraine news agency quoted Raikovich as saying that there were 12 servicemen among the wounded.
City officials said the attacks on the region’s administrative centre, Kropyvnytskyi, damaged “aviation equipment,” aircraft and nearby buildings, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
Kropyvnytskyi lies some 300 kilometres (186 miles) south of the capital Kyiv and three people, including one Ukrainian serviceman were killed in Russian strikes on railway and military infrastructure over the weekend.
Russian strikes reported earlier on Thursday meanwhile destroyed one building at a military base north of Kyiv.
Senior Ukrainian military official Oleksiy Gromov said the missiles that hit the town 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Kyiv were fired from the Crimea peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014.
– ‘Troubled morning’ –
At least one person was also killed and two more injured in a strike on the central Dnipro region, its governor Valentin Reznichenko said on social media.
“It’s a troubled morning. Again there is missile terror. We will not give up,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said on social media.
Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, displacing millions and killing thousands more.
Moscow’s forces first tried and failed to wrest control of Kyiv and the country’s second-largest city of Kharkiv, and have since turned their attention to capturing the eastern Donbas region.
There, in the town of Toretsk, Russia launched deadly strikes on a five-story residential building.
“Rescue workers today found and removed the remains of two people — a man and a woman. In total two people died and three were rescued,” regional emergency services said.
They added separately that the toll from strikes on a hotel one day earlier in the Donbas town of Bakhmut under Ukrainian control had increased to four.
AFP journalists in the area reported Bakhmut and nearby Siversk had also been experiencing electricity cuts following strikes in the area.
While fighting since February has centred on the eastern Donbas region, Ukraine’s forces are also building momentum in their counter-offensive for the southern Kherson region.
In the neighbouring southern region of Mykolaiv — key for supplying efforts to recapture Kherson — one person was injured and a school building was destroyed following “extensive” shelling, governor Vitaliy Kim said.