Zelensky says Ukraine and UK have agreed on ‘strong defense package’

Russian shelling appears to be increasing in parts of the Kharkiv region recaptured by Ukrainian forces last September, as well as in other parts of northern Ukraine.

Kharkov, Sumy and Luhansk regions: Two civilians were killed in Dvorichna, a village east of Kharkiv city, said Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional military administration. Russian troops took positions on the nearby east bank of the Oskill River.

Further north, closer to the Russian border, five people were injured in Russian shelling of the town of Vovchansk, which has been regularly hit by artillery fire, according to Syniehubov. “In Vovchansk, at least seven apartment buildings and two private residential buildings were damaged by shelling,” he said on Telegram.

Last month, there was more Russian shelling along the front lines along the border of the Kharkov and Luhansk regions.

The Ukrainian military also reported Wednesday that more than 30 settlements in the Kharkiv and Sumy regions came under artillery fire, some from Russian territory.

In the Seredyna-Buda region, close to the Russian border, “the occupiers continued to shell the border of the Sumy region with mortar fire” 12 times on Wednesday night, according to the Northern Combat Command. No casualties were reported.

Donetsk region: Ukraine’s military general staff said in its daily report that Russian forces used airstrikes to support ground forces near Bakhmut, where nearly a dozen settlements were shelled.

Unofficial Telegram reports from Ukraine’s 46th Brigade, which has been stationed in the Bakhmut area for weeks, said the Russians had reached a highway northwest of the city, where fighting continued.

Other parts of the front in the Donetsk region, southwest of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, were also hit by airstrikes, the General Staff said. In recent weeks, intense fighting involving tanks and artillery has raged in the region as Russian forces have attempted to destroy Ukrainian fortifications.

Kherson area: Towns and villages in the recently liberated parts of southern Kherson have also been heavily shelled, according to the Ukrainian military. It listed 10 areas that had been shelled, including the city of Kherson.

The military also said the Russians were “conducting filter measures against civilians” in the occupied Kherson area. Filtering measures include detention and deportation to Russian territory.

“First of all, this concerns those who work in Ukrainian state institutions and refuse to cooperate and go to work with the Russian occupation authorities. The intruders also threatened that those who did not receive Russian passports by March would be automatically subject to filtering measures,” the military explain.

The Ukrainians said they continued to target Russian military centers behind the front lines. “In the past day, the aviation of the National Defense Forces carried out 21 strikes on areas where personnel and military equipment are concentrated, and three strikes on the positions of anti-aircraft missile systems. … Two areas where manpower is concentrated, one Ammunition depots and a fuel oil depot,” the General Staff said.

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