A Russian missile strike on a market in the Ukrainian village Shevchenkove killed two women and injured three other women and a 10-year-old girl Monday, Ukrainian officials said. Photo courtesy of Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office/Telegram
Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Russian strike on a market in the Ukrainian village Shevchenkove killed two women and injured three other women and a 10-year-old girl Monday, Ukrainian officials said.
The Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office said in a statement on Telegram that Russian troops fired rockets using an S-300 missile system from the Belgorod region in Russia.
"In the morning, the Russian army committed another terror against the civilian population," the statement reads.
"Prosecutors, together with police investigators, recorded the consequences of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation and collected material evidence."
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry added in a statement that none of the victims were military targets.
Russian forces gained ground Monday around the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk province of the Donbas region of Ukraine, which Moscow has been trying to seize for months.
"Bakhmut holds on despite everything. And although most of the city has been destroyed by Russian strikes, our soldiers repel constant attempts of Russian offensives there," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address Sunday.
"Soledar holds on. Although there is even more destruction and it is very difficult."
The provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk together make up the larger Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. Donbas has been largely held by pro-Russian separatists since the Ukrainian territory of Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Luhansk and Donetsk as independent republics before the start of the invasion on Feb. 24 and illegally annexed the region into Russia in the fall, despite Ukrainian forces still controlling much of the area.
Zelensky described the areas around Bakhmut and Soledar as "one of the bloodiest places on the frontline."
Hanna Maliar, the deputy defense minister of Ukraine, said in a statement Sunday that Ukrainian forces are regaining territory in the Donetsk region "little by little, step by step" though conceded that the "situation is complicated."
Serhiy Haidai, the head of the Luhansk Regional Military-Civil Administration, told Ukrainian television on Sunday that winter weather was creating problems for both Russia and Ukraine.
"In a day or two, it will freeze seriously, and it will be possible to drive normally without worrying about the fact that a tank or other equipment might get stuck," Haidai said. "I hope that the advantage will be on our side."