Parts of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine have endured intense attacks over the past 24 hours, according to regional officials.
Serhiy Haidai, head of the regional military administration, said a woman died in shelling that hit the hospital in Severodonetsk, a city that has seen widespread destruction after weeks of attacks.
“They [the Russians] wanted to finish off the wounded,” Haidai said. “The Russians knew that the hospital was not empty, there were patients in different conditions with doctors; it did not stop them.”
“The destruction of the building is significant. Several floors were damaged at once,” he added.
A CNN team in the city Wednesday heard frequent artillery barrages, which local police said were around the hospital.
Ukrainian officials said that almost the entire territory of the Luhansk region suffered from shelling over the past 24 hours, with the worst hitting Rubizhne and Lysychansk. The Russians have been trying to force the towns’ surrender for weeks.
The shelling had destroyed gas pipelines to most of the region, Haidai said. “The gas companies repairing damaged areas every single day. Gas is supplied to only six towns and villages.”
Mykola Khanatov, head of Popasna city military administration, told Ukrainian television that there were just three words to describe the situation there: horror, sorrow, pain.
“Still around 2,000 people remain in Popasna. We are trying to organize the evacuation every day. We evacuate around 50 people daily. But unfortunately, we only control half of the city, the other half is occupied,” Khanatov said, adding that there had been an airstrike on a nine-story building on Tuesday night, and it collapsed. Rescue work was continuing.
“Popasna is Armageddon. Nothing is working there right now: there’s no gas, electricity or water. There are no doctors,” Khanatov said.
The Luhansk authorities said one person had been killed in nearby Hirske.
“Russian troops are continuously shelling the settlements of the Hirske Community starting from 5 a.m. They are using GRAD [rockets] and artillery,” Haidai said.