Russian shelling in the past 24 hours has left two dead and another eight wounded in Donetsk as the battle for control of the eastern Ukrainian region escalates.
One of the deaths was reported in Bakhmut, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration. Two other people were injured in the city.
A multi-storey building, a residential house and a shop were also damaged in Bakhmut, he said.
The situation “remains tense” in several villages, including Paraskoviivka, Razdolivka and Vasyukivka, near the Russian-controlled town of Soledar, Kyrylenko added.
Some context: Moscow has launched brutal attacks on eastern Ukraine in recent days after a top Kiev official said Russia is preparing for a “maximum escalation” of Ukraine’s nearly year-long war.
“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.
“I am aware that the most important battles are yet to come and they will take place within two to three months this year,” he said.
“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It is collecting everything possible, doing exercises and training. When it comes to an offensive from different directions, from now on I can say that we are not ruling out any scenario in the next two to three weeks.”
DailyExpertNews’s Jack Guy, Yulia Kesaieva, Mick Krever, Jonny Hallam and Josh Pennington contributed to the reporting.