Russian forces have shelled the city of Kharkiv, the regional military governor said Friday, amid continued heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine
“Over the last 24 hours, Russian occupation forces have fired 48 times with artillery, mortars, tanks and multiple rocket launchers in Saltivka, Piatyhatky, Oleksiivka, Derhachi and in the city center,” Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration , said on Telegram.
“As of now, there are 15 injured in Kharkiv and in the district.”
Syniehubov said shelling seriously damaged a gas pipeline, and that emergency crews were working at the scene.
The shelling of Kharkiv comes amid heavy fighting in the southern part of the region. Ukrainian authorities have urged civilians to evacuate a number of cities and settlements in eastern Ukraine.
“Fighting continues in the Izium direction,” he said. “We continue evacuation, in particular from Barvinkove and Lozova.”
Some background: Recent advances by Russian forces around Kharkiv could be setting the stage for the eastern city of Sloviansk to become the next target of Russia’s offensive, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank.