Dozens of people have been killed by Russian rocket attacks on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, according to an interior ministry adviser.
Anton Herashchenko’s remarks came in a Facebook post on Monday, hours after blasts were reported in Kharkiv by Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection in a brief statement on the Telegram messaging app.
“Kharkiv has just been massively fired upon by grads [rockets]. Dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from Moscow on Herashchenko’s remarks.
Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull, reporting from the city of Lviv, in western Ukraine, said the reports of deadly Russian strikes on densely populated civilian areas were disturbing.
“There are lots of pictures [circulating on social media] showing explosions and suggestions that Grad rocket fire has been used, others that bombs have been dropped by the air, and there are lots of [videos showing] flashes that indicate secondary explosions, and the use of cluster munitions in amongst all of that,” said Hull.
Elsewhere, there was a relative lull in the capital Kyiv where supermarkets were reopened and residents allowed out of bomb shelters and homes for the first time since a curfew was imposed on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the strategic port city of Mariupol was “hanging on”, according to Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.