Two civilians dead as Russia pounds frontline Kherson region – Ukraine

KYIV (Reuters) -Russian shelling pounded the frontline region of Kherson in southern Ukraine on Monday, killing two civilians, hurting at least eight others and hitting a bus, a critical infrastructure facility and cemetery, local authorities said.

“As of now, we know about seven victims as a result of the shelling of a (bus) in Kherson. Two men and five women,” regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram messenger, adding that some of them had sustained severe injuries.

The bus had been at a crossroads when a shell exploded nearby, local prosecutors said. Images published by local officials online showed the floor of a badly-damaged bus covered in shards of glass and blood.

“Residential buildings, power lines, and vehicles were also damaged,” the prosecutors said on Telegram.

Prokudin said Russia also attacked an unspecified critical infrastructure facility in the region, leaving the residents of four small settlements without electricity.

The vast Dnipro river runs through Kherson region and Russian troops control the territory on the eastern bank of it. The city of Kherson and Ukrainian-held areas on the western bank come under regular Russian shelling.

A cemetery in the region’s village of Kindiyka also came under fire, killing one person and injuring a 62-year-old man, Prokudin said.

The city of Kherson also came under heavy overnight shelling, which killed an 85-year-old woman, Roman Mrochko, head of the city’s military administration, said on Telegram.

“In the central district of the city, high-rise buildings and one of the social institutions were hit,” Mrochko added.

He said the attack caused a fire and injured a resident, posting a video showing scorched rooms with collapsed walls and ceilings, shattered windows and piles of construction waste.

In a separate morning missile strike an administrative building and equipment in a shipyard in the Black Sea region of Odesa were also hit, local prosecutors said, adding that four workers had been injured.

Images showed a blast crater, buildings with shattered windows and two destroyed vehicles.

The attacks followed attempted Russian drone strikes on southern, central, and northern Ukraine. Kyiv’s military said air defences destroyed all 12 drones and two missiles launched against the Mykolaiv, Kherson, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytskyi and Dnipro regions.

There was no immediate comment on the strikes from Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and controls about 20% of Ukrainian territory in the east and south.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Yuliia Dysa;Editing by Tom Balmforth, Mark Heinrich and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)