A least one person was killed when seven Russian rockets slammed into residential buildings in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine this Thursday, according to the region's governor.
At least 5 people were trapped under the rubble.
The strikes came just hours after Ukraine announced that the country's military had retaken three Russian-occupied villages.
Governor Oleksandr Starukh wrote on his Telegram channel that many people were rescued from the multi-story buildings, including a three-year-old girl who was taken to a hospital for treatment.
He initially said two people had died in the strike, but later revised the death toll to one.
"The death of another person has not been confirmed. Thanks to the doctors, her life was saved," he wrote.
He added that "the number of victims could have been much higher, but thanks to the timely and professional actions of the Zaporizhian State Emergency Service, 21 victims were already saved".
The city of Zaporizhzhia is the administrative centre of the region of the same name that Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed in violation of international laws on Wednesday. It is also near Europe's largest nuclear power plant, which is under Russian occupation.
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog is expected to visit Kyiv this week to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia facility after Putin signed a decree Wednesday declaring that Russia was taking over the six-reactor plant.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry called it a criminal act and said it considered Putin’s decree “null and void.” The state nuclear operator, Energoatom, said it would continue to operate the plant.
Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, plans to talk with Ukrainian officials about the Russian move. He will also discuss efforts to set up a secure protection zone around the facility, which has been damaged in the fighting.
Speaking in a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “certain territories will be reclaimed, and we will keep consulting residents who would be eager to embrace Russia”.
Peskov did not specify which additional Ukrainian territories Moscow is eyeing, and he wouldn’t say if the Kremlin planned to organise more of the “referendums” that the Ukrainian government and the West have dismissed as illegitimate.
The precise borders of the areas Moscow is claiming remain unclear, but Putin has vowed to defend Russia’s territory — including the annexed regions — with any means at his military’s disposal, including nuclear weapons.