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Ukraine Files Criminal Charges Against Head Of Russian Orthodox Church

A Russian tank burns in a field near the town of Vuhledar in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region on November 5.

A Russian tank burns in a field near the town of Vuhledar in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on November 5.

At least five civilians were killed and several wounded by Russian shelling of residential areas in eastern and southeastern Ukraine over the past day, authorities said on November 8.

Three people were killed in the shelling of a village in the eastern region of Donetsk, the Prosecutor-General’s Office said on November 8, adding that an investigation was launched into Russia’s violation of the laws of war.

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“The Russian Army struck the village of Bahatyr, in the Volnova district, probably with a Smerch multiple-launch rocket system,” the Prosecutor-General’s Office said in a statement.

“At the epicenter of the strike was a densely populated residential area, next to which there are no military facilities. As a result of the explosions, more than a dozen private houses were damaged and destroyed,” it added.

The statement said that the bodies of a 58-year-old man, his 60-year-old wife, and their 33-year-old neighbor were discovered under the rubble of a house.

In the Kharkiv region, a 57-year-old civilian was killed and three police officers were wounded in the Russian shelling of the Kupyansk area, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said in a statement, adding that a railway station was also damaged in the attack.

In the southern Kherson region, at least one civilian was killed and another was wounded by Russian shelling, regional Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on November 8.

“Over the past day, the enemy launched 108 attacks, firing 538 shells from mortars, artillery, Grad rocket launchers, tanks, drones, and aircraft. The enemy fired 16 shells at the city of Kherson,” Prokudin wrote on Telegram, adding that the Russian military targeted other residential areas and a factory in the Kherson district.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces fought 45 close-quarter battles along the front line over the past day, the General Staff of Ukraine’s military said in its daily bulletin on November 8.

The military said Russian troops continued their attempts to encircle the city of Avdiyivka in Donetsk, where Ukrainian defenders repelled 14 assaults over the past day.

Russian forces have been repeatedly trying to capture Adviyivka for the past several weeks in one of the bloodiest battles of the war triggered by Moscow’s unprovoked invasion in February 2022.

On November 7, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced the deployment of more Western-supplied NASAMS air-defense systems as Ukraine prepares for an expected increase in Russian air strikes targeting its energy infrastructure during the cold season.

Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was regularly targeted last winter by Russian missile and drone strikes that caused victims and damage as well as misery to millions of people who were left in the dark and cold amid below-freezing temperatures.

NASAMS, or National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, are a highly mobile networked short-to-medium range air defense system developed jointly by the United States and Norway that were first delivered to Ukraine in November 2022.

And in eastern Ukraine, Mikhail Filiponenko, a member of the regional assembly in the Russian-occupied Luhansk region, was killed in a car bombing, his son said on November 8. No further details were immediately available.

Filiponenko was a former head of the Moscow-backed separatist troops in Luhansk and had represented the Luhansk separatists at the cease-fire monitoring center in the region before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. He had reportedly survived another assassination attempt at that time, just days before the start of the Russian invasion.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Russian Service
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