Ukrainian governor: Russia raises “real hell” in the east

Russian forces are managing to ‘sow real hell’ in the industrial heartland of eastern Ukraine despite reports that they were taking an operational pause, a regional governor said on Saturday, while another Ukrainian official said Saturday. urged residents of Russian-occupied southern regions to quickly evacuate “by any means possible”. means” before a Ukrainian counter-offensive.

In this image taken from video provided by the Ukrainian State Emergency Services, firefighters work to put out a fire at a burnt shopping center after a rocket attack in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, Monday, 27 June 2022.

Ukrainian State Emergency Service / PA

Deadly Russian bombings have been reported in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Governor of the eastern Lugansk regionSerhyi Haidai said Russia launched more than 20 artillery, mortar and rocket attacks into the province overnight and its forces were heading towards the border with the Donetsk region.

“We are trying to contain Russian armed formations on the entire front line,” Haidai wrote on Telegram.

Last week, Russia captured the last major Ukrainian resistance stronghold in Luhansk, the city of Lysychansk. Analysts have predicted Moscow troops would probably take some time to rearm and regroup.

But “until now, there has been no operational pause announced by the enemy. It is still attacking and bombarding our lands with the same intensity as before,” Haidai said. In a later article, he claimed that the Russian bombardment of Lugansk had been suspended because Ukrainian forces had destroyed ammunition depots and barracks used by the Russians.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has called on residents of Russian-held territories in the south to evacuate so that occupying forces cannot use them as human shields during a Ukrainian counter-offensive.

“You have to look for a way to leave, because our armed forces are coming to take care of themselves,” she said. “There will be a massive fight. I don’t want to scare anyone. Everyone understands all of this anyway. ”

Speaking at a press conference on Friday evening, Vereshchuk said a civilian evacuation effort was underway for parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. She declined to give details, citing security considerations.

It was unclear how civilians should safely leave Russian-controlled areas as missile strikes and artillery fire continue in surrounding areas, or if they would be allowed to leave or even leave. hear the call of the government.

The balance sheet of the war continued to rise.

Five people were killed and eight others injured on Friday in the Russian bombardment of Siversk and Semyhirya in Donetsk province, its governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.

In the city of Sloviansk, named as the next likely target of the Russian offensive, rescuers said they had extracted a 40-year-old man from the rubble of a building destroyed by shelling on Saturday. Kyrylenko said several people were under the debris.

Russian missiles also killed two people and injured three others on Saturday in the southern city of Kryvyi Rih, according to regional authorities.

“They deliberately targeted residential areas,” Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, told Telegram. Kryvyi Rih Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul claimed on Facebook that cluster munitions had been used and urged residents to stay away from unfamiliar objects on the streets.

In northeastern Ukraine, a Russian rocket strike hit the center of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, on Saturday, injuring six people, including a 12-year-old girl, authorities said.

“An Iskander ballistic missile was probably used in the attack,” the Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office said. “One of the missiles hit a two-story building, which resulted in its destruction. Nearby houses were damaged.

The town has been targeted throughout the war, including several times in the past week. As survivor Valentina Mirgorodksaya dabbed a cut on her cheek, first responders cautiously inspected the building destroyed during Saturday’s strike.

“I don’t know,” Mirgorodksaya said. “I just don’t know.”

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych reported in a Telegram article that six Russian missiles were fired at his town in southern Ukraine near the Black Sea, but there were no casualties.

Russian defense officials said on Saturday their forces had destroyed a hangar housing US howitzers in Ukraine, near the town of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk province. There was no immediate response from Ukraine.

In other developments:

– The Ukrainian National Police announced that it was opening a criminal investigation into the alleged destruction of crops by the Russian army in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine. In a Telegram post, he accused Russian troops of not allowing residents to put out fires in the fields and of otherwise sabotaging the harvest.

“Due to the constant shelling, it is extremely difficult to put out fires (on the ground) in the unoccupied territories, and in the occupied lands the Russians deliberately do not allow the extinguishing of fires,” police said. .

– A civilian woman in separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine was injured in a shelling in the village of Irmino, according to military officials from the Kremlin-backed self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic .

– The UK Ministry of Defense reported on Saturday that Russian forces in Ukraine are now armed with “obsolete or inappropriate equipment”, including MT-LB armored personnel carriers removed from long-term storage. The MT-LB entered service with the Soviet Army in the 1950s and does not offer the same protection as modern armored vehicles. The Russians also brought out Cold War-era tanks.

“While MT-LBS were previously in service in support roles on both sides, Russia has long considered them unsuitable for most frontline infantry transport roles,” the UK ministry said on Twitter. .

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Associated Press reporters from across Ukraine contributed.


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