This photo shows a crater in front of a damaged apartment building after a missile strike in the city of Soledar. AFP
As the see-saw battle raged on for the strategically important city of Severodonetsk — the largest in the Lugansk region not under Russian control — more help was promised from abroad.
The United Kingdom said it would follow the United States and send long-range missile systems to Ukraine, defying warnings from Russian President Vladimir Putin against supplying Kyiv with the advanced weapons.
Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions forced to flee their homes since Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24.
An elderly woman sits inside her damaged house after a missile strike in the city of Soledar. AFP
Fighting since April has been concentrated in the east of the country, where Russian forces have made slow but steady advances after being beaten back from other parts of Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv.
Ukraine's gains in Severodonetsk, announced by regional governor Sergiy Gaiday, would represent a significant advance by Kyiv's troops, who earlier appeared on the verge of being driven out of the city.
"The Armed Forces have cleared half of Severodonetsk and are moving forward," Gaiday posted on Telegram.
However, he warned in a video in the same post that a major new Russian push on the industrial hub appeared imminent.
Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy posted photographs of the charred shell of a four-story building and rescuers searching rubble. In a later Facebook post, he said many Russian soldiers and some local residents also were killed during the fighting on Sunday.
Kathy Lueders, who heads the agency's human spaceflight program, told reporters on a call that operations on the research platform were proceeding "nominally" and "we're not getting any indications at a working level that our counterparts are not committed."
"The real toll is likely to be much higher," Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the UN human rights office (OHCHR), told a briefing, adding that 253 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine.
"Nobody will forgive. Nobody will forget,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed after Tuesday's bloodshed on the central square in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, and the deadly bombing of a TV tower in the capital.
“On the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), we continue to be guided by his noble character, his timeless values, and his inspirational legacy of kindness, friendship and empathy for all of humanity.” tweeted Sheikh Mohamed.
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The Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the Thai government and people and to the families of the victims of this heinous crime, as well as its wishes for a speedy recovery for all the injured.
Friends hugged sobbing family members struggling with staggering loss on Friday in a rural northeastern Thailand community mourning the children and other victims slain by a fired police officer in the nation's deadliest shooting rampage.