Moscow-installed authorities in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region have said that four people died from Ukrainian shelling on the Antonivskiy bridge over the Dnipro river used for evacuations. “Four people were killed,” pro-Moscow official Kirill Stremousov said on Telegram.
The Russian-backed administration of Kherson said Kyiv fired “12 HIMARS rockets at a civilian crossing near the Antonivsky bridge.”
“The city of Kherson, like a fortress, is preparing for its defence.”
A Ukrainian military spokeswoman Nataliya Gumenyuk denied Kyiv’s forces had killed civilians.
“We do not hit critical infrastructure. We do not hit peaceful settlements or the local population,” Gumenyuk said on Friday.
A few days back, pro-Russia forces urged civilians to evacuate in view of an Ukrainian onslaught. Kyiv has meanwhile branded the evacuations as “deportations” of Ukrainian citizens.
Russian state television aired footage of a damaged car and traffic waiting to cross the river.
Stremousov informed Thursday that 15,000 people had crossed the river. He insisted that Russia will not give up Kherson, the first major Ukrainian city to fall to Russian forces early in their offensive in March.
“Kherson will hold on until the last (man), believe me nobody is intending to give up the city.”
Authorities in the region have started evacuating people from the area that Moscow “annexed” a few weeks back. Reportedly, 60,000 people will be evacuated in six days.
unkindwhile, a series of blasts rocked the Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia on Friday, authorities said. The missiles hit an industrial facility in Kharkiv on Friday, its mayor, Ihor Terekhov, said. The rescuers are assessing the damage and right now it is not known if there were any casualties.
Russian forces have stepped up missile strikes on Ukraine in the past few weeks, targeting electric power facilities.
Separately, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Sinegubov said five people had been wounded.
The information on the Zaporizhzhia blasts was provided by regional governor Oleksandr Starukh and more details are still awaited.
(With inputs from agencies)