By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — More civilians have been reported killed or wounded in fresh Russian shelling and air strikes in southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, officials reported on October 21, including a late strike in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
Late on October 21, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said a Russian missile strike on a postal distribution center in the country’s second largest city of Kharkiv had resulted in an unspecified number of dead and 13 wounded.
Earlier, one person was killed and another one was wounded in the southern Kherson region on October 21, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported on Telegram. Kherson has been regularly targeted by Russian shelling and air strikes from across the Dnieper River.
Prokudin said that over the past 24 hours Russian troops shelled Kherson 57 times. On October 20, an 80-year woman was killed when a shell destroyed her home in the city of Beryslav.
In the eastern Kharkiv region, a 39-year-old man was killed, regional Governor Oleh Synyehubov said.
In the city of Kryviy Rih, in the southern region of Dnipropetrovsk, Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of the Kryviy Rih Defense Council, said a 60-year-old man was killed when the city was attacked with missiles and drones.
Vilkul earlier reported several explosions in Kryviy Rih, which is the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov later told reporters that Russian forces destroyed the Ukrainian military’s fuel and ammunition depots near Kryviy Rih’s local airport.
There was no immediate response from Ukrainian officials to Konashenkov’s claim.
Elsewhere, one person was killed in Russian shelling overnight in Nikopol, Serhiy Lysak, the head of Dnipropetrovsk region’s military administration, said on Telegram.
Meanwhile, in the eastern Donetsk region, a civilian was wounded by the Russian bombardment of Avdiyivka, just 15 kilometers north of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, where heavy fighting has been under way.
For several weeks, Russian forces have mounted an offensive aimed at surrounding Avdiyivka — the largest military operation that Moscow has staged in months.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his evening address on October 20 that Ukrainian forces had repelled a new Russian assault on the city and were holding their ground in heavy fighting in the area.
Avdiyivka had a pre-war population of around 30,000 people, but it is estimated that only 1,600 still remain in the devastated city.
Zelenskiy said Russian losses “are really staggering,” adding that “it is precisely losses by the occupier that Ukraine needs.”
He thanked Ukrainian troops “who are powerfully holding the defense and destroying the occupier day after day.”
The General Staff of the Ukrainian military said in its daily report on October 21 that around 100 close-quarters battles were fought along the entire front line over the past 24 hours.
Besides Avdiyivka, heavy fighting was also reported in the eastern directions of Kupyansk in Kharkiv region and Nadyia, in Luhansk region.
Zelenskiy and top military commanders on October 20 visited Kherson, where they discussed the situation there and around Avdiyivka and Kupyansk.