At least 15 people were killed when Russian rockets destroyed an apartment building in a town in eastern Ukraine.

Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said more than 20 people could be trapped in the rubble of the five-storey building in the town of Chasiv Yar.

Saturday night’s rocket attack is the latest in a series of recent attacks on civilian structures with many casualties.

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Footage from the scene shows rescue services digging through the rubble using tractors and other machinery.

Mr Kyrylenko said the town of around 12,000 was hit by Uragan rockets, which are mounted and fired from trucks.

The town of Chasiv Yar lies about 20 km southeast of Kramatorsk, a town expected to be a major target for Russian forces as they advance west.

Russia has repeatedly asserted that it only hits targets of military value during the war.

Attacks on Civilian Areas

The aftermath of the Chasiv Yar attack
Chasiv Yar

In late June, at least 19 people died when a Russian missile hit a shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk and 21 people were killed when an apartment building and recreation area came under rocket fire in the southern region of Odessa this month.

The Donetsk region is one of two provinces along with Luhansk that make up the Donbass region, where separatist rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.

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Last week, Russia captured the town of Lysychansk, the last major Ukrainian resistance stronghold in Luhansk.

After the capture of Lysychansk, some analysts predicted that Moscow’s troops would take some time to rearm and regroup.

The Russian mission to take Donbass continues

As Russia and Ukraine blame each other for killing civilians in the Donbass region, Moscow has voted to continue its fight in the region.

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Russia’s ambassador to the UK has said his country is unlikely to withdraw from Ukraine’s southern coast.

Andrei Kelin said: “We will liberate all of Donbass.

“Of course, it is difficult to predict the withdrawal of our forces from the southern part of Ukraine because we have already experienced that after the withdrawal the provocations start and everyone gets shot and all that.”

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