Russia strikes Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region
One person was killed, 10 were wounded and four appeared to be trapped under rubble following overnight Russian missile attacks in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, Ukrainian interior minister Ihor Klymenko and regional officials said yesterday.
Russia fired six missiles at three settlements in the region, most of which is occupied by Russian forces, Klymenko said on Telegram messaging app.
"Pokrovsk, Novohrodivka and Myrnohrad came under fire. The shelling injured 10 people, including four children. Five more people are being searched for under the rubble," the minister said.
Later, Donetsk authorities said rescuers found one body while four others, including one child, were still under the rubble.
Klymenko said among the wounded were a family with two children. Two 13-year-olds were also wounded, he said, and an apartment block, nine private houses, a police station, cars and garages were damaged.
Klymenko said a police paramedic helped a man with an injured baby get out from under the rubble.
Invading Russian forces have occupied much of Donetsk and Russia has said it intends to take over the whole region.
The Ukrainian military said earlier yesterday its air defence shot down 14 out of 20 drones in a Russian overnight strike.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday visited a frontline command post in eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces have been stepping up attacks after holding back a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Zelensky praised Ukrainian troops deployed around Kupiansk, where Russian forces have been mounting attacks to reclaim territory they lost in a lightning Ukrainian offensive last year.
But the frontline has largely remained static for the last year despite a massive push by Ukrainian forces this summer with Western military hardware.
"Fighters on the Kupiansk front are protecting the peaceful life of Ukrainians and the people of the Kharkiv region," Zelensky said in a post on social media. "I wish you victory, be strong and don't lose the initiative."
Zelensky's visit came as Russia's defence ministry said Moscow's forces had repelled two Ukrainian assaults near Kupiansk with the help of fighter jets and artillery, reports AFP.
Ukrainian military officials meanwhile said Russian forces had continued trying to wrest control of Avdiivka, a frontline town in the neighbouring Donetsk region.
Russia launched a renewed bid to capture the war-battered town last month and analysts suggest Moscow's forces have made incremental gains, though at an enormous human cost.
"The enemy continues active ground infantry attacks in the operational area of the Tavria operational-strategic group of troops. In some places, they use armoured vehicles," said Oleksandr Tarnavsky, who is responsible for fighting in the east.