Hours before a unilateral temporary ceasefire declared by Vladimir Putin came into effect, Russian forces continued to launch fresh strikes on Ukrainian cities.
Russian shells hit the city of Kramatorsk in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on Friday morning, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the office of Ukraine’s president.
Russian troops “hit the city with rockets twice”, Tymoshenko wrote in an update on social media. A residential building had been hit but there were no victims, he added.
Kramatorsk mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko warned the city was “under fire” and urged residents to stay in shelters. Some 14 homes were damaged after rockets hit the residential building, he said.
Residents described several explosions to Reuters. Oleksnadr, 36, told the news agency:
It’s bad, very bad. We need to pressure them, get them to leave, maybe more air defence systems would help. This happens often, not only on festive occasions. Every other day.
A local resident runs past a burning house hit by the Russian shelling in Kherson, Ukraine. Photograph: LIBKOS/AP
In the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, Russian forces shelled a fire department on Friday morning before the ceasefire came into effect, the regional governor said. One rescue worker was killed and four others were injured, he said.
Journalists from AFP news agency and CNN reported hearing both outgoing and incoming shelling around the frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.