Ukrainian servicemen fire toward Russian troops with a tank at a position in Donetsk region

Russian shells kill 3, injured 20 in Donetsk, Ukrainian officials say

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — At least three Ukrainian civilians have been killed and 20 others wounded in the latest artillery barrages from the Russian military, Ukrainian officials said Monday.

The eastern region of Donetsk, one of the two provinces making up the country’s industrial heartland of Donbas that has been the focus of a Russian offensive, has faced the most intense shelling.

Regional officials said at least three people died and another 13 were wounded by Russian shelling that hit numerous towns and villages in the Donetsk region during the last 24 hours. The barrage has damaged dozens of residential buildings and civilian infrastructure.

READ MORE: Russia heavily shells residential areas in eastern Ukraine

In the country’s second-largest city of Kharkiv, seven civilians were wounded in the latest Russian shelling that hit residential buildings and an area near a bus stop early Monday. Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Synyehubov said the wounded included a 80-year-old woman.

The Russian forces also struck several other regions of Ukraine with rockets and artillery.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Monday that Russian warplanes have struck Ukrainian army positions in the southern Kherson region and in the Donetsk region. He added that the Russian air force also hit a facility in the Kharkiv region, killing at least 100 and wounding 50 “mercenaries” from Poland and Germany. His claims couldn’t be independently verified.

Speaking at the opening of an arms show outside Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the military’s actions in Ukraine, declaring that it “fights for Russia … and fulfilling all the tasks that were set, liberating the Donbas step by step.” He also vowed to expand arms sales to Russian allies, whom he praised for continuing to offer firm support to Moscow in the face of Western pressure.

For their part, the Ukrainian military claimed to have destroyed more than 10 Russian warehouses with ammunition and military equipment in the past week.

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