Ukraine War: Russia Carries Out Strikes In Civilian Areas As Fighting Rages On In Eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said on Friday Ukrainian counter-offensive has recaptured 2,434 square kilometers of land in Eastern Ukraine since early September, including 29 settlements in this week alone.

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Russia carried out a series of strikes in the four annexed regions of Ukraine on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. 

Meanwhile, the fighting continues between Russian and Ukrainian forces in Eastern and Southern Ukraine with both sides appearing to have made gains recently, according to the Institute of the Study of War (ISW).

A series of explosions rocked the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Saturday, which the city's mayor claimed to be missile strikes. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Russian strikes were also reported in Zaporizhzhia and Nikopol. While one person was killed in Zaporizhzhia, one was killed in Nikopol. The Russian strikes also damaged buildings, natural gas pipelines, and electricity systems in Nikopol. 

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Since the beginning, the counter-offensive has liberated several towns such as Izium and Lyman, which were key Russian military hubs prior to liberation.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address on Friday that this week alone, his military has recaptured 776 square kilometers (300 square miles) of territory in the east and 29 settlements, including six in the Luhansk region, which Putin has annexed. 

In total, Ukrainian forces have liberated 2,434 square kilometers (940 square miles) of land and 96 settlements since the beginning of its counteroffensive.

Russia's Defense Ministry reported on Friday that its forces had repelled Ukrainian advances near the city of Lyman and retaken three villages elsewhere in the eastern Donetsk region.

"Russian forces have been making incremental advances around Bakhmut and Avdiivka between October 6 and October 7, likely with the support of Wagner and Kadyrov’s elements in the area," reported ISW.

Ukraine is also pushing into Kherson in the South, which Russians are trying to repel.

"Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces continued to shell settlements in northern Kherson Oblast in an effort to prevent Ukrainian advances in the southern direction and fired S-300 air-defense missiles at ground targets in liberated settlements," reported ISW.

(With AP inputs)