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5 Killed as Russia Pounds Eastern Ukraine Region of Donetsk | World News

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) – A Ukrainian official says Russian shelling has killed five civilians in the past 24 hours and injured 21 more in the eastern Donetsk province, where Russia has stepped up its attacks in recent days.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kirilenko said in a telegram on Wednesday morning that two had been killed in Avdivka, one in Sloviansk, one in Krasnoyarsk and one in Kurakhov.

“Every crime will be punished,” he wrote.

Kirilenko on Tuesday called for the evacuation of more than 350,000 residents of the province, saying people needed to be evacuated from Donetsk to save lives and better equip the Ukrainian army to protect cities from Russian advance.

Donetsk is part of the Donbass, mostly Russian-speaking industrial area where the most experienced soldiers of Ukraine are concentrated.

Pro-Russian separatists have fought Ukrainian forces and controlled most of Donbass for eight years. Prior to the attack this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the region’s two self-proclaimed separatist republics. He tried to portray the tactics of the Ukrainian forces and government as similar to those of Nazi Germany, for which no evidence was found.

In a telegram on Wednesday, the governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleh Siniyehubov, said Russian forces had hit Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city further north, in an overnight missile strike.

Sinehubov said three districts in the city had been targeted and a university building had been destroyed, as well as an administrative building. According to the governor, three people, including a child, were injured.

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