Ukraine said Russian shelling killed two people Thursday in the southern city of Kherson, while Russia-installed officials reported Ukrainian attacks in the eastern city of Donetsk.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, posted on Telegram that the Russian strikes hit the regional administration building in Kherson.
In Donetsk, the Russia-appointed mayor Alexei Kulemzin said overnight shelling amounted to some of the biggest attacks there in years.
Russia-backed separatists have controlled parts of the Donetsk region since 2014, and earlier this year the area was part of an annexation announced by Russia but rejected by the international community.
In Geneva, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk told a meeting of the Human Rights Council that Russia’s war on Ukraine continues to be marked by gross violations of international human rights law.
Turk, who closed a visit to Ukraine last week, said 18 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian aid and that additional Russian airstrikes “could lead to a further serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation and spark more displacement.”
He said Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure, including energy facilities, are exposing millions of Ukrainian civilians to “extreme hardship during the winter months.”
“My deepest wish is for an end to this senseless war,” Turk said.
Also Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that a U.S. plan to approve sending Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine amounted to a “provocation.”
Zakharova said the United States should “draw the right conclusions” from Russia’s warnings that equipment supplied by the U.S. is a legitimate target for Russian attacks.
U.S. officials said Tuesday they were set to approve sending a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine, the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has provided to the Kyiv government during Russia’s 10-month war on Ukraine.