Russia-held Luhansk, Kherson report 26 deaths in Ukraine strikes

A series of deadly missiles have struck the Luhansk region, killing scores. (Photo/AP)

Ukrainian strikes on parts of the Russian-held Luhansk and Kherson regions have killed 26 people and wounded dozens more, local authorities said.

A shop in the village of Sadove in the southern Kherson region "with a large number of visitors and employees was destroyed", Vladimir Saldo, head of Russian authorities in Kherson, wrote on Telegram on Friday.

A HIMARS missile struck shortly afterwards as residents from neighbouring houses rushed to help the victims, Saldo told Russian media, putting the overall toll at 22 dead and 15 wounded.

Saldo condemned the "vile murder of civilians" made possible by Western arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Earlier on Friday, Russian officials in Luhansk reported that a Ukrainian missile strike on an apartment block in the eastern region's main city of the same name killed four and wounded more than 40.

Luhansk city came under a massive missile attack on Friday morning, according to Leonid Pasechnik, head of the region.

Luhansk and Kherson were among four regions Russia annexed in September 2022.

A section of an apartment block collapsed and the "bodies of four peaceful civilians killed were removed from the rubble", Luhansk's government said on Telegram.

"Forty-six people have received medical treatment," said regional health minister Nataliya Pashchenko, adding that they included an eight-year-old boy and three teenage boys.

The condition of 10 of the injured is grave, she said.

The strike tore open the facade of a five-storey Soviet-era block of flats from the roof down and left a deep crater in the ground, images posted by the Russian emergency services showed.

Rescuers carried out one elderly casualty on a stretcher, footage posted by the emergency services showed.

Russia improved positions

The strike damaged a total of 33 blocks of flats in the east of the city as well as two schools, three kindergartens and a higher education college, Pasechnik said.

The Russian Defence Ministry accused Ukraine of targeting civilian areas, saying "the Kiev regime... deliberately fired five US-made ATACMS missiles at residential districts of the city of Luhansk".

"Four American missiles were shot down by Russian air defences. One missile struck two blocks of flats," the ministry said.

The attack came as Russia claimed new advances against Kiev's stretched military.

Over the last week, Russian troops "improved their positions along the front line and liberated the settlement of Paraskoviivka", the ministry said.

The village is around 25 kilometres southwest of the city of Donetsk, capital of the region that Moscow claims to have annexed in 2022.

After months of stalemate, Moscow is gaining ground in the east, capturing 47 Ukrainian towns and villages in total since the start of this year, according to President Vladimir Putin.

In the central city of Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Russian shelling killed a 71-year-old woman, the regional authorities said.

The city is on the Dnipro River and Russian forces control the opposite bank.


Source: TRT