Russia has accused Ukraine of targeting local officials that had been collaborating with Moscow, in targeted strikes in the cities of Kherson and Luhansk.
At least five Himars missiles crashed into the central administration building in Kherson, which has been occupied by Russian troops since March. Video from the scene showed smoke billowing out from the building.
Meanwhile in the eastern city of Luhansk, a pro-Russia prosecutor and his deputy were killed when their office was blown up. The cause of the explosion has not been confirmed.
Kremlin-backed news agency Itar-Tass said that Sergey Gorenko, the prosecutor general for the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, the puppet regime that claims control of the region, died at the scene.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s senior adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied that Ukraine was behind the explosion in Luhansk, suggesting that it may have been caused by an internal mafia dispute or was possibly an attempt to get rid of witnesses.
“Elimination of so-called ‘LNR prosecutor general’ and his deputy should be considered as showdowns of local organized criminal groups that could not share looted property before a large-scale escape,” Podolyak posted on Twitter. He added: “Or as Russian Federation’s purge of witnesses to war crimes. Investigation will show.”
The mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, said explosions were witnessed in the southern city on Friday. “I hope the Russian fascists have suffered losses, among their personnel and equipment. Awaiting good news from the armed forces of Ukraine,” he said.