KYIV, Ukraine -- Russian forces continue to "raise hell" in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, despite reports that they are taking an operational pause. Meanwhile, Kyiv's government urged residents in Russian-occupied areas in the south to flee "by all means" to avoid a Ukrainian offensive.
In Ukraine's south and east, there was a report of Russian shelling.
Serhyi Haidai (the governor of Luhansk) stated that Russia had launched more than 20 rocket, mortar, and artillery strikes in the region overnight, and that its forces were pushing toward Donetsk's border.
Haidai posted on Telegram that "We are trying the contain the Russians’ armed formations throughout the entire front line."
Russia took control of the city Lysychansk, which was the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance to Luhansk. Analysts believed that Moscow's troops would need time to regroup and rearm.
The enemy has not yet announced an operational pause. Haidai stated that he is still bombarding and shelling our lands at the same intensity as before. He claimed that the bombardment of Luhansk had been suspended after Ukrainian forces destroyed ammunition depots and barracks used to by the Russians.
Iryna Vereshchuk (Ukraine's deputy prime Minister) appealed for residents of Russian-held territory in the south to leave so that the occupying forces couldn't use them as human shields during a counteroffensive.
She said, "You must search for a way out because our armed forces will be coming to de-occupy." There will be a huge fight. I don't wish to scare anyone. All of this is obvious to everyone.
Vereshchuk spoke at a press conference on Friday to say that a civil evacuation was in progress for Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. She did not give any details due to safety concerns.
It was unclear how civilians would leave Russian-controlled areas with missile strikes and artillery bombardment continuing in the surrounding areas. Or if they would be allowed or allowed to hear the government's appeal.
The death toll from war continued to rise.
Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote that five people died and eight were injured in Russian shelling in Siversk and Semyhirya, Donetsk's province on Friday.
Rescuers in Sloviansk pulled a 40 year-old man out of the rubble of a destroyed building on Saturday morning. Kyrylenko stated that multiple people were hiding under the rubble.
According to regional authorities, Russian missiles struck the southern city Kryvyi Rih Saturday morning and killed two people.
Valentyn Reznichenko (the governor of eastern Dnipropetrovsk) stated on Telegram that "they deliberately targeted residential areas." Oleksandr Vilkul (Kryvyi Rih mayor) stated in a Facebook post, that cluster munitions were used and advised residents to avoid stepping on unfamiliar objects.
Seven people were hurt in a Russian rocket attack on Kharkiv on Saturday morning. Three of them were admitted to hospital, including a child.
Oleksandr Senkevych, the mayor of Mykolayiv in southern Russia, stated in a Telegram message that a Russian missile attack was underway. He didn't mention any casualties.
Russian defense officials claimed that Saturday's attack on a Ukrainian hangar housing U.S. Howitzers was caused by Russian forces. It was located near Donetsk, in the Donetsk Province town of Chasiv Yar. Ukraine did not immediately respond.
According to the British Defense Ministry, Russian forces in Ukraine are now being armed using "obsolete and inappropriate equipment," which includes MT-LB armored vehicle taken from long-term storage.
The Soviet military used the MT-LB in 1950s. It does not offer the same protection as modern armored vehicles.
The British ministry stated on Twitter that MT-LBS had been used in support roles on both sides and Russia considered them ineligible for most infantry transport roles.
Russians have also taken out Cold War-era tanks from storage.
Journalists from Associated Press across Ukraine contributed to this article.
Follow AP's coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine