By Yaroslav Lukov
Russia has carried out deadly strikes across Ukraine, as Kyiv stepped up its efforts to retake the occupied southern Kherson region.
In the bloodiest attack, five people were killed and 25 injured when missiles struck the central city of Kropyvnytskyi, local officials said.
Near Kyiv, 15 people were hurt at a military base. Ukraine’s northern and southern regions were also hit.
This comes as Ukraine seeks to isolate Russian troops in the country’s south.
A key bridge into the city of Kherson is out of action after Ukrainian forces struck it with long-range rockets supplied by the US. This makes it impossible for Russia to send deployments and weaponry over the Antonivsky Bridge.
UK defence officials say the only Ukrainian regional capital seized since the start of the Russian invasion on 24 February is now “virtually cut off from other occupied territories”.
However, the Ukrainian military has warned that Moscow is now redeploying its forces from eastern Ukraine to defend the Kherson region. Pictures have emerged purportedly showing Russian troops trying to set up a pontoon crossing near the damaged bridge.
Control over Kherson is important for Russia, as it provides a land corridor to Crimea – Ukraine’s southern peninsula annexed by the Kremlin in 2014.
Kropyvnytskyi – the capital of the Kirovohrad region – was hit by two Russian missiles at about 12:20 local time on Tuesday (09:20 GMT), regional head Andriy Raikovych said at a briefing.
He said the missiles struck hangars of a local flight school, and that the wounded did not have life threatening injuries.
Separately, 15 people were hurt when six Russian Kalibr missiles hit a military base in Liutizh, about 10km (six miles) north of the capital Kyiv, senior Ukrainian military official Oleksiy Hromov said. He did not specify whether there were any deaths.
Elsewhere, one person was killed and two injured in Russian shelling of Ukraine’s central-eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, local officials said.
And in the southern city of Mykolaiv, one person was injured and a school was destroyed in a “massive” Russian missile attack, regional head Vitaliy Kim said.