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Russian forces again shelled civilian areas in eastern and southern Ukraine, killing at least two people and wounding more than 20, regional officials reported on October 14, as fighting continued with renewed intensity around the Donetsk towns of Bakhmut and Avdiyivka, where Moscow has been pressing an offensive in recent days.

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The city of Beryslav, in the southern region of Kherson, was again shelled by the Russian military early on October 14, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported, adding that a woman was killed.

“Around 6 a.m., the Russian Army struck the city. They hit a private house. A 60-year-old woman was found under the rubble,” Prokudin wrote on Telegram, adding that the woman later succumbed to her wounds.

Another attack on Beryslav later on October 14 killed a 42-year-old woman, who Prokudin said was on the balcony of her apartment when it was hit by an artillery bombardment.

A Russian drone strike the previous day had struck a car in Beryslav, wounding a man and killing his wife.

Russian shelling of civilian settlements wounded 22 civilians over the past 24 hours in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk, acting regional governor Ihor Moroz reported in the morning of October 14.

“The Russians wounded 22 residents of the Donetsk region: 21 in Pokrovsk and one in Avdiyivka,” Moroz said on Telegram.

Separately, the Ukrainian military said its forces fought 100 close-quarter battles against Russian troops in the eastern region of Kharkiv, Donetsk, and in the Melitopol area of the southern region of Zaporizhzhya.

“The situation on the Kupyansk [in Kharkiv] and Lyman [in Donetsk] fronts has worsened significantly in recent days,” General Oleksandr Syrskiy, commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, said on Telegram on October 14. “Heavy battles are going on,” Syrskiy said.

Fighting has been especially intense over the past days in Avdiyivka, just north of the city of Donetsk, where Russian troops have been mounting an offensive in an attempt to break through.

Vitaliy Barabash, the chief of Avdiyivka’s military administration, said the fighting around the city “is very heated, very heated,” adding that the Russians were trying to surround Avdiyivka with the help of newly deployed troops.

At the United Nations in New York, Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told a Security Council meeting that the intensified attacks amounted to a new stage in Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine.

“Russian troops have, for several days now, switched over to active combat action practically throughout the entire front line,” Nebenzya said on October 13. “The so-called Ukrainian counteroffensive can therefore be considered finished.”

The Ukrainian side has said its forces have been repelling the Russian troops and holding their ground.

The assault on Avdiyivka, seen as the largest Russian attack in the east since the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive several months ago, has reportedly involved some 2,000 troops, numerous armored vehicles, and air support.

In a message on Telegram, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy commended the defenders of Avdiyivka.

“I am grateful to every soldier, every unit for their resilience,” Zelenskiy wrote.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian military said there were 43 combat clashes at the front on October 14, adding that there were no significant changes in the situation in the north.

In the southern region of Zaporizhzhya, the General Staff said Russian forces tried five times to regain positions in the village of Robotyne but were unsuccessful.

It was not possible for RFE/RL to verify the claims.

The Ukrainian Navy, meanwhile, said that on October 13 it had struck a Russian patrol ship and a tugboat in the occupied Black Sea port of Sevastopol.

“Yesterday (October 13) was “Friday the thirteenth” for the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation… The patrol ship Pavel Derzhavin was hit twice. Only the second time did it realize that it was time for it to get out of our Sevastopol. We also confirm the damage [incurred] to the Bur tugboat. It was towed away and has relevant damage,” navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk told Ukrainian television.

Russia has not commented on the claim, which has not been independently confirmed.

With reporting by Reuters and AP

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