Ukrainian rescuers have recovered 15 bodies after Russian Uragan missiles hit a five-story apartment building, causing the building in the eastern region of Donetsk to collapse, officials said.
More than 20 people may still be trapped in the wreckage, the local branch of the emergency service in the city of Chasiv Yar reports on Facebook.
Rescuers pulled a man who had been trapped for nearly 24 hours from the rubble on July 10, bringing the number found alive to six. The man was rushed to a hospital after being taken away by rescuers, who previously said they were in contact with at least three people trapped beneath the ruins.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the attack on Chasiv Yar has prompted him to put the topic of war crimes on his agenda for the coming week.
“Since the beginning of this invasion, Ukrainian law enforcement officials have made every effort to document the occupiers’ crimes and gather evidence,” he said in a video message on July 10.
He said the negotiations he is planning “will contribute to the punishment of Russian war criminals”.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of Donetsk’s military government, said the attack took place late on July 9.
Chasiv Yar is a town of about 12,000 inhabitants, about 20 kilometers southeast of Kramatorsk, a town that has recently been targeted by Russian forces.
Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said the attack was “another terrorist attack” and that, as a result, Russia should be classified as a “state sponsor of terrorism”.
The rocket attack on Chasiv Yar is the latest in a recent outbreak of Russian casualties on civilian structures in Ukraine.
At least 19 people were killed when a Russian missile hit a shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk in late June. Earlier this month, 21 people were killed when an apartment building and recreation area came under rocket fire in the southern region of Odessa.
Russia – which says it is conducting a “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine – has denied targeting civilians during the war. There was no comment on the attack on Chasiv Yar during a briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry on July 10.
Multiple rocket attacks were also reported in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, not far from the Russian border.
Rockets fired in the early hours of July 10 hit a school, a private home and a children’s sanatorium, partially destroying the buildings, Kharkiv’s prosecutor’s office said. A 62-year-old man was injured in the attacks, a Telegram report said.
Ukrainian officials said Russian forces attacked areas near the eastern city of Slovyansk on July 10, but were forced to withdraw.
Serhiy Hayday, the governor of the eastern region of Luhansk, said Russian troops are gathering in the village of Bilohorivka, about 50 kilometers east of Slovyansk.
“The enemy is shelling the surrounding settlements, carrying out air strikes, but still unable to quickly occupy the entire Luhansk region,” Hayday told Telegram.
“On the last night alone, the Russians launched seven artillery barrages and four rocket attacks,” he added.
The Ukrainian Military General Staff said in his daily summary that attacks were reported in several cities and towns in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Donetsk and Luhansk make up the Donbas region, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.
WATCH: Oleksandr Kraskivskyi, head of the village of Zamhlay in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, says he tried to reason about the occupation of Russian troops but was eventually tied up, beaten and held captive. Kraskivskyi believes he survived after explaining that he served with the Soviet army in Afghanistan.
Last week, Russian troops captured the city of Lysychansk, the last major stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk.
Meanwhile, the situation in the southern Kherson region has become more dangerous.
Serhiy Khlan, deputy head of the Kherson Regional Council in exile, said Ukrainian forces attacked and set fire to a military unit in the southern city of Kherson.
Serhiy Bratchuk, the head of the Odessa regional administration, said on Telegram that Ukrainian troops “attacked the occupying base in the Kherson region”.
Russian air defense systems were activated in Kherson on July 10, TASS reported, adding that four explosions were heard and smoke was seen in the central part of the city.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk urged civilians to evacuate the city and the Kherson region.
“Obviously there will be fighting, there will be artillery shelling… and we are therefore urging (people) to evacuate urgently,” she told national television on July 10.
She couldn’t say when exactly the counteroffensive would take place.
The Kherson region includes the city of Kherson, which had a population of nearly 300,000 before the war. It is not known how many residents remained in the city after Ukraine lost control of most of the Kherson region in the early weeks of the war.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said by July 10, advanced US multi-launch long-range missile systems had already made a “big difference” on the battlefield.
Ukraine currently has nine of the high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) and similar systems supplied by the US and allies, Security Council secretary Oleksiy Danilov said earlier this week.
The United States announced on July 8 that it would send four more. It said the number of HIMARS sent by Washington would reach 12.
Reznikov told The Times in an article published on July 10 that Zelenskiy ordered the Ukrainian army to retake the occupied southern territories.
“We understand that it is very necessary politically for our country,” he told the British newspaper. “The president has ordered the supreme military commander to develop plans.”