Ukrainian officials reported on Saturday that Russian forces have increased their efforts to capture one of the few remaining cities in the conflict-torn eastern part of the country from which they are currently absent, while also continuing to fire on towns and villages in the north and south.
At least nine civilians were hurt when Russian shelling blew out windows and collapsed balconies in the Mykolayiv district in the city’s southern region. The governor of the Black Sea region said that a five-story apartment building and several private homes in the town of Voznesensk were severely damaged.
As of 1:35 p.m. [local time], nine people have been hurt, four of them children. All of the children are in critical condition. Governor Vitaliy Kim stated in a Telegram message that the ages of the students ranged from three to seventeen. He also mentioned that a girl lost an eye in the attack on Saturday.
According to Ukrainian and Kremlin-backed local officials, a Ukrainian airstrike hit targets in the largest Russian-occupied city in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, reflecting the broadening front lines of the nearly 6-month long war in Ukraine.
A preliminary report indicates “a precise hit” on a Russian military base, according to the mayor of Melitopol, Ukraine. The government chief claimed that one civilian was slightly injured and that residential areas were damaged in the attack.
According to today’s report from the Ukrainian military’s General Staff, fighting has heated up in the area around Bakhmut, a small city whose fall would give Russia a foothold from which to threaten the two largest urban centers still held by the Ukrainians in the eastern Donbas region.
Moscow’s eastern offensive has been focusing on Bakhmut for weeks, as the Russian military tries to finish a months-long campaign to conquer all of the Donbas, an industrial region bordering Russia where pro-Moscow separatists have self-proclaimed a pair of independent republics.
Saturday morning, a Ukrainian official said there was heavy fighting close to four settlements on the border between the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Gov. Serhii Haidai of Luhansk did not identify the towns or mention Bakhmut, which is located about 26 kilometers (16 miles) from the international boundary. Last month, Russian forces conquered nearly all of Luhansk and have since shifted their attention to retaking Donetsk from the Ukrainians.
Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko of Donetsk province posted on Telegram on Saturday that seven civilians were killed by Russian shelling on Friday, four of them in Bakhmut. By seizing Bakhmut, the Russians would have a clear path to Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the two largest cities in the province that are currently under Ukrainian control.
The General Staff report added that the northern region of Kharkiv, home to Ukraine’s second-largest city, was attacked on Friday, along with Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
Russian-occupied Melitopol in southern Ukraine was the target of an airstrike, but neither Moscow nor Kyiv have commented on the incident. The spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, said earlier on Saturday morning that pro-Russia forces had shot down Ukrainian shells near the city and a key power station in the Kherson region, which the Russians had seized early in the war.
On Saturday, the city’s Kremlin-installed leader acknowledged that Ukrainian forces had opened fire on Melitopol.
At night, the Kyiv regime launched two attacks on our lovely Melitopol. These attacks targeted residential neighborhoods. Galina Danilchenko said on Telegram that Russian air defense systems had shot down missiles, but that shelling had damaged or destroyed homes on [two] streets.
Ukrainian authorities are gathering data on the strike, according to Ivan Ferodov, mayor of Melitopol.
Everyone in Melitopol heard the loud explosions that went off tonight “It was Ferodov who made the remark. “Initial reports indicate that the target was one of Russia’s military bases, which Russian fascists have been desperately trying to reopen in the airfield region for years.
Ferodov reported shortly after Dalnichenko’s post that residential areas of the city were hit, but he placed the blame for the destruction of about 10 homes on the Moscow-backed forces stationed in Melitopol. His earlier claim that a Ukrainian airstrike severely damaged a Russian military base was also restated.
A child was seriously injured by Russian shelling on the outskirts of the regional capital Melitopol on Friday, according to the Ukrainian governor of the southern Zaporizhzhia region, which is partly controlled by Russia.
The governor, Oleksandr Starukh, reported on Telegram that the girl, then age 8, was in “stable” condition but still dependent on a ventilator following surgery. Starch also noted that two adults sustained “moderate severity injuries” in the same attack in Zaporizhzhia.
While Russia concentrated its efforts in the east, Ukrainian officials have signaled their intention to launch a counteroffensive in the south.
Authorities in eastern Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolayiv, as well as the northern Kharkiv and Sumy regions on the Russian border, reported renewed Russian shelling overnight.
In its original form, this article was published in the Los Angeles Times.
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