Russian forces ‘fire will all the weapons they have,’ Luhanks governor says
Ukrainian officials have claimed that many of the country’s villages have been “wiped off the face of the earth” as intensifed Russian shelling leaves a trail of devastation.
The mayor of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Senkevych, said eight Russian missiles had struck the southern city, overnight, killing at least three civilians.
In central Ukraine, Russian shelling has intensified so much that the governor of Kryvyi Rih, Oleksander Vilkul said, said: “Several villages have been wiped from the face of the earth.”
Further east in Luhansk, the province’s governor Serhiy Gaidai said: “There is fighting everywhere. The enemy is trying to break through our defences. And since they don’t succeed, they fire with all the weapons they have, erase all the villages from the face of the earth.”
Ukrainians are still reeling from the loss of 18 civilians who were killed in a strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine. Dozens are still yet to be found following the explosion.
“The Russians are using every weapon available to them… and without distinguishing whether targets are military or not – schools, kindergartens, cultural institutions,” Mr Gaidai added.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky’s office said Moscow had also fired missiles at civilian infrastructure in Sumy region in the past 24 hours, killing two civilians.
The battle for Lysychansk follows the fall of Sievierodonetsk, its sister city across the Siverskyi Donets River on Saturday.
Its capture would expand Russian control of the Donbas, one of Moscow’s strategic objectives since its failure to seize Ukraine’s capital Kyiv in the early stages of the war.
Ukrainian armed forces commander General Valery Zaluzhny said Russia had fired around 130 missiles on Ukraine within the last four days – an indication of the intensification of attacks.
Despite the increased severity of strikes on Ukraine, Western analysts say the Russians are taking heavy casualties as resources begin to thin.
Meanwhile, Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz has said Nato would continue to supply Ukraine with weapons for as long as necessary.