While Ukraine’s army reported little in the way of offensive operations by Russian forces around Kyiv and in parts of the south on Saturday, further east fighting continued to rage.
Two children were killed in the town of Rubizhne after being pulled from the rubble of a residential building pummeled by Russian artillery fire, the emergency services said.
A woman also died in the same building collapse; her daughter survived and was in a stable condition.
Some context: Rubizhne is part of a cluster of small towns and villages that remain in Ukrainian hands but lie close to two breakaway pro-Russian statelets inside eastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian army’s most recent assessment of the war makes clear they are seen as a current focus of Russia’s campaign in the east — to link the two strongholds around Luhansk and Donetsk with territorial gains made to the northwest in the region around Kharkiv.
Saturday’s daily update from the army’s central command — released in the early afternoon — reported a series of Russian offensives with “the main efforts focused on attempts to capture Severodonetsk, Rubizhne and Popasna.”
Further deaths and destruction: On Friday, four people were killed and ten others injured as Russian artillery opened up across a series of communities in the region, local Ukrainian authorities said.
Regional head Serhii Haidai said a total of 54 buildings had been hit, including 19 apartment blocks and two health care centers.
Some 23 towns and villages were without gas supplies and 26 were without electricity by the day’s end.
Many of those wounded in recent days were among 700 people evacuated through a humanitarian corridor on Saturday, Haidai reported.
Mother shields baby daughter from shelling, prevents her being harmed, Ukrainian hospital says