Russian forces had fired 33 rockets at civilian targets in a series of aerial and artillery bombardments in Kherson in southern Ukraine, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Wednesday.
The attacks were reported to have taken place over the course of 24 hours up until early Wednesday morning.
Settlements on the right-hand bank of the Dnipro River were also struck by mortars and artillery fire, close to the city Russian forces were forced out of last month, in what has been seen as an embarrassing defeat for Moscow.
The reports could not be immediately verified.
Further to the east, the frontline town of Bakhmut has been the scene of heavy fighting, with engagements also taking place further north in the towns of Svatove and Kremina, according to Britain’s defense ministry.
Ukraine has accused Russia of purposefully destroying cities on the front line in Donetsk, which Russia illegally claimed as its own territory following a sham “referendum.”
The Kremlin has poured cold water on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace plan, saying proposals need to consider the four regions, which Moscow illegally annexed in September.
“There can be no peace plan for Ukraine that does not take into account today’s realities regarding Russian territory,with the entry of four regions into Russia,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“Plans that do not take these realities into account cannot be peaceful,” Peskov added.
Zelenskyy has been pushing a 10-point peace formula to end the war in Ukraine.
This formula includes, among other things, radiation and nuclear safety; food security; energy security; release of prisoners and deportees; implementation of the UN Charter; withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities.
An Australian man has been killed during fighting in Ukraine according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Australia’s national broadcaster ABC News reported the man as being Sage O’Donnell from Victoria and that he was killed just before Christmas.
The circumstances where and how O’Donnell was killed are not yet known.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, thousands of foreigners have joined Ukraine’s forces where they serve in the International Legion of Defence of Ukraine.
The DFAT said it was providing consular assistance to O’Donnell’s family.