7 people killed in Ukraine when Russia takes over rebel-claimed territory

KRAMATORSK (Ukraine) -- Russian bombardment has killed at least seven Ukrainians in the last 24 hours, and injured 25 more, officials from Ukraine said Wednesday.

7 people killed in Ukraine when Russia takes over rebel-claimed territory

KRAMATORSK (Ukraine) -- Russian bombardment has killed at least seven Ukrainians in the last 24 hours, and injured 25 more, officials from Ukraine said Wednesday.

According to the country's presidential office, Russian forces attacked cities and villages in southeast Ukraine. The majority of civilian casualties occurred in Donetsk, where Russia has intensified its offensive in recent weeks.

Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko stated in Telegram that two people were killed in Avdiivka. This city is in the middle of the province. The Donetsk cities Sloviansk Krasnohorivka, Kurakhove and Sloviansk each reported one civilian dead.

He wrote, "Every crime will get punished."

Kyrylenko called on the more than 350,000 residents of the province to leave late Tuesday. He stated that Donetsk evacuation was necessary in order to save lives and enable the Ukrainian army to better defend against Russian advances.

Donetsk, which is part of the Donbas region in western Ukraine, is where some of the most skilled soldiers from Ukraine are located. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Monday the total seizing of Luhansk province in the Donbas, after Ukrainian troops retreated from the city.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai denied Wednesday the Russians had seized the entire province. He said that heavy fighting continued in the villages around Lysychansk. The city was occupied by Ukrainian soldiers who withdrew on Sunday.

Haidai stated that while the Russians paid a heavy price, the Luhansk area is still not completely captured by the Russian army. "Some settlements were overrun several times by each side."

He accused Russian forces, accusing them of using scorched earth tactics and "burning down" everything in their path.

Haidai stated that Lysychansk has 15,000 remaining residents, while the city of Sievierodonetsk is home to 8,000. These cities were seized by Russian and separatist fighters last month.

For eight years, pro-Russian separatists fought Ukrainian forces and ruled large swathes of the Donbas. Putin recognized the independence and self-proclaimed separatist republics of the region before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Moscow's offensive has been focused on the Donbas, the last remaining areas held by the Ukrainians, after Russian forces failed to capture Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.

The Russian forces struck Kharkiv to the north of Donetsk with missile strikes overnight. This was according to the Kharkiv regional governor, who spoke Wednesday via Telegram.

Governor. Oleh Syniehubov stated. According to the governor, injuries were sustained by three people, including a toddler.

A missile hit a building that houses military registration. The building that houses the government was next to it survived, but people walking nearby noticed the destruction.

First responders sifted through the rubble of an overnight attack on Kharkiv's national teaching university. The breeze blew pages of textbooks.

The Russian border is close to the city so it is likely that the war will continue into its fifth month.

Other developments

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated that the 27-nation European Union must make emergency plans in order to plan for a complete cut-off in Russian gas following the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. The EU has already placed sanctions against Russia, including some energy supplies. It is now trying to find alternative sources. Von der Leyen stated that the bloc must be prepared for disruptions from Moscow.

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Murru and Cara Anna both contributed from Kyiv.

Follow AP's coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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