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Russian shelling kills eight, wounds 17 in eastern Ukraine

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Russian attacks on the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut killed eight people and left 17 injured, the regional governor said Friday, as Ukraine pushes to recapture swaths of Donbas.

Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said that of Russian attacks on the greater Donbas region the city of Bakhmut “suffered the worst damage.”

“The Russians killed eight people there and wounded another 17,” Kyrylenko said in a statement on social media.

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He said residential buildings, shops, a cultural building and an administrative center were damaged, as well as a marketplace.

“The city has been without water and electricity for the fourth day,” he said, adding that “repairs are impossible due to ongoing fighting.”

The Ukrainian presidency meanwhile said nine people had been killed in total in the Donetsk region over the last 24 hours and one person had been killed in the neighboring Kharkiv region.

Ukrainian authorities say their counter-offensive in Kharkiv against invading Russian troops has been gaining momentum.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Thursday that Ukraine’s forces had retaken Balakliya, a city of nearly 30,000 people that had been occupied by Russian forces for around six months.

The road from Kharkiv southeast to Balakliya was open Friday, AFP journalists said, with queues at several checkpoints and civilian and military vehicles on the road.

Ukraine said Thursday its forces made gains in the north, the south and the east, prying back land seized by Russia which had hoped for a swift victory when it attacked nearly seven months ago.

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