Russia said Ukrainian artillery hit a Russian town for a third time this week and drones struck two oil refineries in an uptick in attacks on Russian territory as Ukraine prepares a Western-backed push to end Moscow’s invasion.
Inside Ukraine, Russian-installed officials said five people had been killed in Ukrainian army shelling of a Russian-occupied village in the east, where Russia has fought months of bloody and inconclusive battles to try to seize more territory.
There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the Russian reports, in a week when the two countries accused each other of spreading terror in their capitals with air strikes.
Thousands of civilians have been killed in Ukraine and towns and cities laid to waste since Moscow’s forces invaded 15 months ago, but Tuesday marked only the second time Moscow had come under direct fire — from a flurry of drones — although oil and military facilities elsewhere in Russia have been hit.
In the Russian town of Shebekino, two of four wounded people were hospitalised and shells damaged an apartment building, four homes and a school as well as power lines, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.
Germany, once Russia’s biggest energy market, reiterated that it deemed such Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil legitimate in terms of international law, and announced a sharp downgrading of diplomatic representation in both Russia and Germany.
Russian-installed officials in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region — one of four Moscow claims to have annexed — said Ukraine had killed five people and wounded 19 in a rocket attack on a farm in the village of Karpaty.
Ukraine’s general staff said its forces had fended off 22 Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine over the past day and Ukrainian aircraft had carried out 11 strikes on Russian personnel and military equipment, without specifying where. Russia’s defence ministry said it had pushed Ukrainian forces back around two settlements in Donetsk province, part of a 1,000km front line that has barely moved despite months of fighting that has cost tens of thousands of lives.
Reuters was not able to verify either side’s reports. Drones attacked two oil refineries 40-50 miles east of Russia’s biggest oil export terminals yesterday, according to Russian officials, who did not attribute blame. They said a fire at one of the terminals was later put out.
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