At least two people died and more than thirty were injured in Russian bombardments in the city of Slovianskin eastern Ukraine, regional authorities and police reported on Monday.
“There are two dead and 29 injured in Sloviansk,” Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Facebook, adding that “administrative and office buildings, five high-rise buildings and seven private homes” were also damaged.
The Russian forces “attacked the city center around 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) with two S-300 missiles“, specific.
According to the police, the two people killed were driving in their cars near the city center at the time of the bombing.
“A woman died in this car,” he told the press. Dmytro Nogin, a Kramatorsk district police officer, pointing to a burnt-out vehicle. “Another (person) died in this green car.”
The police balance reported 32 injured, five of them serious. The mayor of the town, Vadym Lyakhreported 36 wounded.
Sloviansk is a city about 40 km from Bakhmut, where Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for months.
Ukraine closes off village turned ‘post-apocalyptic’ battlefield to civilians
Ukraine closed on Monday the eastern town of Avdiivka to non-military personnel, describing it as a post apocalyptic wastelandas kyiv tries to break out of the encirclement of the Russian winter offensive before launching its own counterattack.
A top Ukrainian general said Kiev was planning its next move after Moscow appeared to shift focus from the small town of Bakhmut, which Russia has failed to capture after half a year of the war’s bloodiest fighting, to Avdiivka further afield. south.
The front lines in Ukraine they have barely moved for over four months, despite the Russian winter offensive, which has involved hundreds of thousands of newly drafted reservists and convicts recruited as mercenaries in prisons. The Ukrainian army intends to wear down the Russian forces ahead of a counteroffensive in the coming weeks or months.
The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyiwho said last week that a counterattack could come “very soon”, visited troops on the eastern front and said his forces were still repelling Russian attacks on Bakhmut.
Defend the small town from the industrialized region of Donbas, which Russia has been trying to seize for months, was a “military necessity,” Syrskyi said, praising the Ukrainian resistance in “extremely difficult conditions.” “We are calculating all possible options for the development of events and will react appropriately to the current situation,” he said.
The commander-in-chief, General Valery Zaluzhniy, said on Saturday that the situation was “stabilizing” around Bakhmut, where Russian forces say they are fighting street by street.
Last week, the Ukrainian military warned that Avdiivka, a smaller town 90 kilometers further south, could become a “second Bakhmut” when Russia turns its attention there. Both cities have been reduced to rubble in fighting that both sides have called a “meat grinder.”
“It saddens me to say it, but Avdiivka is looking more and more like a place from post-apocalyptic movies,” said Vitaliy Barabash, head of the city’s military administration. Of the 30,000 pre-war inhabitants, only about 2,000 remain, and Barabash urged them to leave.
(With information from AFP and Reuters)
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