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Deadly shelling hits eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk

Two people have died and 29 others were wounded in the city in the eastern Donetsk region.

Russia Ukraine War
Russia Ukraine War

Two people have been killed and 29 others were wounded when Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, in the partially occupied eastern Donetsk region, local officials said.

Video footage of the aftermath showed damaged residential buildings, debris in the streets and vehicles on fire.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky described the attack as “terrorism”.

Russian officials have denied targeting residential areas, even though artillery and rocket strikes have hit Ukrainian apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure daily during the war.

Lilia Zayets
Lilia cries next to the coffin of her son Anton Zayets, a senior lieutenant of Ukrainian armed forces, during funeral ceremony at St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv (AP)

The Sloviansk attack followed a typical pattern of long-range shelling adopted by the Kremlin’s forces, especially in recent months as the fighting became deadlocked during the bitterly cold winter months.

In the eastern Donetsk region, some 10 cities and villages were shelled by Russian forces over the previous 24 hours, Ukraine’s presidential office reported.

On Monday morning, Russian missiles hit the city of Avdiivka, damaging residential buildings, a hotel and a courthouse, officials added.

Avdiivka mayor Vitali Barabash said utility companies are being evacuated from the frontline city, as it “resembles more and more a landscape from post-apocalyptic movies”.

Attacks also intensified in the partially occupied south-eastern Zaporizhzhia region, where 14 settlements on the front line were shelled, authorities said.

Volodymyr Zelensky and Orlando Bloom
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and actor and Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

In the partially occupied Kherson region, the Ukrainian-controlled part of the province was shelled 20 times by the Russian artillery and aviation, wounding four people, the presidential office said.

The mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol said several explosions shook the city on Monday, damaging a building where Russian security forces have been quartered.

Mayor Ivan Fyodorov posted photos of smoke billowing over the area where the Russian barracks are located.

The Russian-installed authorities said “artillery shelling” of Melitopol partially destroyed a vocational school building, damaged several other buildings and wounded four people.

Meanwhile, in Kyiv, Mr Zelensky met British actor Orlando Bloom, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office Andriy Yermak said.

Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Caribbean star Bloom, who is also a Unicef goodwill ambassador, arrived in the Ukrainian capital over the weekend and visited its suburb of Irpin.

During his meeting with Mr Zelensky, Bloom said “he was struck by the courage and resilience of Ukrainians, who despite the war remain strong”, Mr Yermak wrote.

Bloom “will support projects to provide humanitarian assistance and restore infrastructure, focused on ensuring the interests of Ukrainian children”, the official said.

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