Russian strikes have killed at least eight people in eastern Ukraine within 24 hours, local officials said Monday, as the death toll at a housing complex hit by Russian missiles rose, in a terrifying reminder of the devastation Russia has inflicted on civilians, even as the death toll rose. The army stops its efforts to control the Ukrainian lands.
As the Russian military regroups and resupplies, its attacks on civilian targets and morale have intensified in recent days. In town after town in eastern Ukraine, a barrage of seemingly indiscriminate Russian strikes, launched by warplanes, artillery and missiles, has killed, maim and terrorized the population.
Attacks escalated in particular in Donetsk, an increasingly eastern province in the Moscow junction after Russian forces Capture the last major city in the neighboring Luhansk province this month.
In the eastern Ukrainian town of Chasiv Yar, emergency crews still found bodies on Monday from a single attack over the weekend. A missile strike hit an apartment complex late Saturday night, and the death toll rose to 30 The Ukrainian State Emergency Service said. She added that nine people have been pulled out of the rubble and have been rescued so far.
In eastern Donetsk province, which includes Chasiv Yar, at least 10 cities and towns have been bombed, bringing the province’s civilian death toll to nearly 600 since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, according to the region’s military governor, Pavlo Kirilenko.
Russian forces used the lull in their ground offensive to aid recovery, in line with President Vladimir Putin ranking Military analysts said on Monday that some troops were resting last week after capturing Luhansk province. But behind the front lines, the rains of devastation continue, and many residents predict it is just the beginning of an all-out renewed offensive.
Ukrainian and Western analysts predict that Mr. Putin will order a new offensive to invade the remaining Ukraine-controlled territories of Donetsk, anchored by the cities of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Bakhmut — if not more.
On Monday, Russia signaled that it might seek permanent control of Ukrainian territory now occupied by Moscow’s forces: Mr. Putin signed a decree which provided a simplified path to obtaining Russian citizenship for all Ukrainians.
Nine miles from Chasiv Yar, in the city of Pakhmut, officials said, on Sunday, Russian forces fired incendiary munitions, limited by international law and designed to start fires or cause burn injuries, into a neighbourhood. Bakhmut, an important military stronghold of Ukraine, is located less than 10 miles from Russian lines and a potential target for planned advances through the eastern Donbass region.
Neighbors in shorts and sandals pulled garden hoses toward a burning house. They threw buckets of water into the flames, where they cracked and cracked the rafters and the tiled roof of the house. “I worked 20 years down the mines and this is what I get,” said Victor, 67, a retired miner who was watching and crying.
Russia launched attacks in the northeast as well.
In the north, at about 3:40 a.m. on Monday, a Russian missile destroyed a school building in the Slobedsk district of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, although no one was injured, Oleh Senhopov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration, said. In the Telegram messaging app. He said a six-story apartment building in the city was hit 20 minutes later. Emergency workers rescued an 86-year-old woman from the rubble.
“Only civilian buildings – a shopping center and homes for the peaceful residents of Kharkiv – were hit by the Russians,” said Senhopov.
Military analysts said the latest attacks appeared to differ from previous Russian tactics of the war, such as its failed blitzkrieg on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, and then its weeks-long concentrated bombardment of major regional cities. The recent attacks hit a variety of targets without a corresponding attempt to advance inch by inch.
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