Ukraine, on Wednesday, accused Russia of rocket strikes that killed 13 civilians in areas near a Russian-held power plant, where renewed fighting has raised fears of a nuclear disaster.
The overnight strikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region in central Ukraine also injured 11 people, with five reported to be in a serious condition.
“It was a terrible night, regional governor Valentin Reznichenko wrote on Telegram, urging residents to shelter when they hear air raid sirens.
“I am asking and begging you… Don’t let the Russians kill you,” he wrote, adding that Russia had fired a total of 80 rockets at the area.
Most of the casualties were in the town of Marganets, just across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s biggest.
Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of recent shelling around the plant itself.
Ukraine says Russia has stationed hundreds of troops and stored ammunition at the plant.
The tensions have brought back memories of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in then Soviet Ukraine, which killed hundreds of people and spread radioactive contamination over much of Europe.
The plant was captured by Russian troops on March 4 after a battle with Ukrainian forces.
The strikes came a day after major blasts at the Saki airfield, a key military base on the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula.
Dramatic amateur footage on social media appeared to show panicked holidaymakers fleeing a Crimean beach with young children, as ballooning clouds of grey smoke rose over the horizon.
Moscow insisted that the explosions were caused by detonating ammunition rather than Ukrainian fire.
Ukraine’s army, which for months pleaded for long-range artillery from Western allies, has been hitting targets deeper in Russian-held territory since some started arriving in recent weeks.
Kyiv has also taken credit for several acts of sabotage inside Russian-held territory.