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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian missiles hit civilian buildings in a central Ukrainian city overnight, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than two dozen in a warehouse and a residential building, regional officials said Tuesday.
The devastation in Kryvyi Rih, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown, is the latest bloodshed in Russia’s war in Ukraine, as Ukrainian forces are in the early stages of a counteroffensive using Western-supplied firepower.
Images from the scene relayed by Zelenskyy on his Telegram channel showed firefighters battling the blaze as pockets of fire poked through multiple broken windows of a building. Charred and damaged vehicles littered the nearby ground.
“More terrorist missiles,” he wrote. “Russian killers continue their war against residential buildings, ordinary cities and people.
The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Serhiy Lysak, wrote on the social media app that the bodies of six people were recovered from the warehouse of an unspecified private company, and “another four destinies were cut short by a blow to the five-story (residential) building.”
Kryvyi Rih mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said on Telegram that 28 people were wounded, and the regional governor said at least one person was still believed to be trapped under the rubble at the warehouse.
The aerial assault was the latest barrage of strikes by Russian forces that targeted various parts of Ukraine overnight.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was attacked with Iranian-made Shahed drones, and the surrounding region was shelled, local Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram. The shelling wounded two civilians in the town of Shevchenkove, southeast of Kharkiv.
The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, separately reported early Tuesday that the drone strike damaged a utilities business and a warehouse in the city’s northeast. Neither Terekhov nor Syniehubov referenced any casualties within Kharkiv.
The Kyiv military administration reported that the capital came under fire as well on Tuesday, but the incoming missiles were destroyed by air defenses and there were no immediate reports of any casualties there.
Air defenses overnight shot down 10 out of 14 cruise missiles and one of four Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russian forces, Ukraine’s General Staff said on its Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the head of Ukraine’s ground troops said the country’s forces were “moving forward” outside the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
Oleksandr Syrskyi wrote on Telegram that Russian forces are “losing positions on the flanks,” while Ukrainian troops were conducting “defensive” operations in the area.
For weeks, Ukrainian officials have been reporting small gains west of Bakhmut, which was largely devastated in the war’s longest and bloodiest battle before Moscow’s forces took control last month.
Over the last day, nearly a dozen frontline towns and villages in Ukrainian-held areas of Donetsk came under increased shelling as Ukrainian troops pushed forward, Zelenskyy’s office said.
Also Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry published a video showing what it said was a German-made Leopard 2 tank and U.S.-made Bradley fighting vehicle captured from Ukrainian forces. According to the ministry, the video was shot by Russian soldiers after fierce fighting in the southern Zaporizhzhia, and a soldier is seen pointing at the immobilized vehicles. It wasn’t immediately possible to verify the video’s authenticity.
Like the Bakhmut area, battle zones in Zaporizhzhia are one of several places along the roughly 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line where Ukrainian forces have been intensifying their counteroffensive operations.
Vladimir Rogov, an official with the Moscow-appointed administration for parts of Zaporizhzhia that Russia controls, alleged that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had failed, and told state news agency RIA-Novosti that Ukrainian forces “continue to suffer colossal losses when they make new attempts to advance.” He did not elaborate, and his claims could not be immediately verified.
On Monday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the country’s troops recaptured a total of seven villages spanning 90 square kilometers (35 square miles) of eastern Ukraine over the past week — small successes in the early phases of a counteroffensive.
Russian officials didn’t confirm those Ukrainian gains, which were impossible to verify and could be reversed in the to-and-fro of war.
The advance amounted to only small bits of territory and underscored the difficulty of the battle ahead for Ukrainian forces, who will have to fight meter by meter to regain the roughly one-fifth of their country under Russian occupation.