Ukrainian officials and the Russian Defense Ministry have announced a comprehensive military operation in eastern Ukraine over the past 24 hours.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration, said Russian missile strikes on the city of Gramatorsk had destroyed at least eight residential buildings and infrastructure and educational facilities.
“Artillery fire in the entire front line did not stop overnight. Enemies fired more intensely in the directions of Maringa, Avtivka and Ocheridine,” he said.
All three cities have experienced extensive shelling in recent weeks, but are under Ukrainian control.
“No civilian casualties have been reported so far, but many homes have been damaged and electricity and gas supplies have been cut off,” Kyrylenko said.
In neighboring Luhansk, Ukrainian Interior Ministry on Sunday said Russian forces had “fired mortar, artillery and rocket launchers at Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Kreminna, Lysychansk, Popasna, Hirske and Zolote. Private houses, “he said.
“As a result of the shelling, 29 houses were without electricity and 38 houses were without gas supply.
These cities and towns form a set of urban settlements that have been the Ukrainian front line for weeks and have suffered extensive damage. Ukrainian authorities estimate that 70% of Severodonetsk was destroyed.
The evacuation continues
Despite the fighting, some evictions continued.
Serhani Haidai, head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, said 67 residents had been rescued from Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Popasna, Lysychansk and Hirske.
“The security situation changes every hour. In the morning it was still safe, now Russian bombs are exploding,” he said.
For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Russian forces had fired precision missiles into the air around Ukraine, destroying 16 Ukrainian military installations overnight.
The report says Russian missiles hit five Ukrainian command positions, a fuel storage facility, three ammunition depots and military personnel and equipment. Most of the targets were in or around Donbass.
CNN could not immediately verify those requests.
Authorities in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region – which borders Donetsk – say regional security forces are “fighting the entire front line.”
A spokesman for the military administration of the Zaporizhzhia region, Colonel Ivan Arafiev, said Russian shelling had taken place in several villages, including Staromayorske and Makarivka in the interior of the Donetsk region. It said several apartments in the Zaporizhia area had been attacked.
“Russian troops use tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantry. In addition, they bombed settlements in the region with aircraft, GRAD multi-rocket missiles, small-armed artillery, 120mm motors and large-scale machine guns,” Arefyev said. “Counter-attack operations are underway with the support of air traffic, multiple rocket launchers, artillery, motor and armored personnel carriers,” he said.
According to CNN analysis of battlefields, most of the villages attacked in Zaporizhia have not been attacked before.