The incessant ringing of a telephone echoes through the rubble-strewn rooms of a bombed-out house, accentuating the crunch of broken glass shattering underfoot as police lay down a body bag.
No one will answer the phone. The owner of the house is lifeless on the floor of a room where he was hit by the explosion of a missile, one of several that hit Pokrovska city in eastern Ukraine.
The missiles that rained down on Pokrovsk on Saturday night and into early Sunday morning were part of a barrage of attacks on towns in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region that left at least 10 people dead on Saturday, according to Gov. from Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko. They fell as Ukraine advanced with a counteroffensive just to the north in the region of Kharkivcausing Russian forces to withdraw from key areas.
Six of the dead were in Pokrovsk, the mayor said Ruslan Trebushkin in a message posted on Telegram. The industrial city some 40 kilometers from the front line has been hit twice before by missiles, in May and July, but there have never been so many in one night.
At least three people were killed when one of the missiles struck between a row of small houses and nearby train tracks, collapsing part of an abandoned building, leaving one house burned to the ground and severely damaging several others.
Oleksandr Zaitsev, 67, stood silent outside his friend’s house when the police arrived. Her friend’s wife had been calling her husband nonstop since the bombing, he said, but no one was answering.
The house’s windows were shattered, the walls were riddled with shrapnel, and the front door came off its hardware. Inside, police carefully packed Zaitsev’s friend into a black body bag.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Armed Forces denounced that the Russian authorities that control the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine have ordered the men not to leave these areas due to the evolution of the war conflict.
The Ukrainian forces have indicated this Sunday that, after the success of the counter-offensive, the invaders already see a general mobilization and have prohibited men from leaving the “temporarily occupied territories”.
In this sense, they indicated that in the still occupied towns of Kharkiv and Kherson, Vladimir Putin’s troops tightened controls, even with a curfew, according to a balance sheet published on Facebook.
While, Sergei HaidaiUkrainian governor of Luhansk, indicated that the invaders began to leave cities that have been occupied since the 2014 war. Nexta detailed that the withdrawal was recorded “en masse” in Luhanks and Alchevsk.
In turn, Ukraine affirmed this Sunday that it has seized more than 3,000 km2 this month from Russian troops, in its counteroffensive in the northeast of the country. “Since the beginning of September, more than 3,000 km2 have come back under Ukrainian control,” Ukrainian General Valeri Zaluzhny said in a statement. “On the outskirts of Kharkiv we have begun to advance not only to the south and east, but also to the north,” added the general commander of the armed forces.
kyiv has made unprecedented progress in its counteroffensive and even Moscow has acknowledged the withdrawal of troops, although attributing it to technical reasons and not to the alleged defeats to which the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, alludes.
(With information from AP)
Ukraine’s counteroffensive advances: Russian troops began to withdraw from Luhansk, the region occupied since 2014
Zelensky warned that the liberation of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia could take place during the winter