15 killed in Russian strike on residential building in eastern Ukraine

An apartment building in the town of Chasov Yar was shelled on Saturday evening as Russia once again stepped up its attacks on cities and towns in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to take control the whole region of Donbass.

The State Emergency Service reported that at the moment the bodies of 15 people have been found under the rubble, search and rescue work continues.

As of 1:00 p.m. local time (6:00 a.m. ET), rescuers had rescued five people and made contact with three others who were still under the rubble, the service said.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations added that 24 people, including one child, “may still be under the rubble.”

The head of the Donetsk regional military administration, Pavlo Kirilenko, told Ukrainian television that two or three Russian rockets were fired at the area and that the incident was “another confirmation of the crimes of the Russian Federation, confirmation that they are shelling residential areas.” “

Chasov Yar and other towns in Donetsk have come under heavy shelling in recent days as Russian forces attempt to crush Ukrainian resistance in the area and push further west towards Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its forces had destroyed a hangar containing US-supplied M777 howitzers, long-range weapons and dozens of Ukrainian “militants” near Chasovoy Yar.

CNN cannot independently verify Russia’s claims. Ukrainian officials said the strike was on a railway station at Chasovoy Yar and several people were injured.

As a result of the terrorist attack in the Clock Yar, several people were killed.

Donetsk and Luhansk regions are two regions that together form Donbass, the eastern part of Ukraine, where conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists began in 2014. The area has become a key focus of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military ambitions in Ukraine after his forces failed to take Kyiv earlier this year.

Russian troops have already occupied almost the entire Lugansk region, Sergei Gaidai, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, said in a telegram on Saturday, adding that about 300,000 residents of the region were forced to leave their homes.

Ukrainian forces withdraw from Lysichansk, their last stronghold in a key region
Lisichanskthe last city still under Ukrainian control in Lugansk fell to Russia last week.

According to Gaidai, since then, Russian troops have concentrated their efforts on the Donetsk region, shelling wide areas along the front line and moving from Luhansk region into Donetsk region.

The Ukrainians defended the area from Russian attacks for more than a month.

“We are trying to contain the Russian armed formations along the entire front line,” Gaidai said, adding that “the occupying forces made little progress and continued their advance west of Lysichansk.”

Attack of Russian supply lines

Meanwhile, Ukraine continued its campaign of attacking Russian supply lines and ammunition depots in the occupied territories far behind the front lines.

Ukraine reported that a long-range strike was carried out on a Russian military unit in the occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

The deputy of the Kherson regional council, Sergei Khlan, said on Sunday that in Kherson there was a “precise hit in the military unit of the occupiers.” Images and geolocated video from Kherson showed a thick plume of gray smoke rising into the air on Sunday morning.

Hlan told Ukrainian television that Russia’s defenses were unable to intercept Ukrainian artillery fire “thanks to modern Western weapons” used by Ukrainian forces.

Sunday’s attack followed a series of explosions on Saturday near Kherson. Ukrainian officials said the Ukrainian military carried out strikes against Russian military depots at the Chernobaevka airport north of the city.

U.S. to provide four more mobile artillery missile systems to Ukraine in new $400 million aid package for Ukraine

The Mykolaiv and Kherson regions have also become hotspots of the conflict, with Ukrainian forces intensifying their fire on Russian warehouses and supply lines in the occupied territory to the south, and Russia using artillery fire in an attempt to prevent the Ukrainians from advancing.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported early Saturday morning that an air defense system had been activated in Kherson.

RIA Novosti, citing the pro-Russian military-civilian administration, reported that shelling was carried out from the Nikolaev direction. “Air defense is working on Kherson,” the administration said in a Telegram channel.

United States announced its fresh arms shipments and humanitarian aid for Ukraine in recent days.

The Biden administration will provide Ukraine with four more highly mobile artillery missile systems as part of the latest security assistance package, a senior Defense Department official said Saturday. And the US State Department announced an additional humanitarian aid package for Ukraine totaling nearly $368 million.

CNN’s Manveena Suri, Yulia Kesaeva and Josh Pennington contributed to the coverage.