The death toll from a Russian rocket attack that hit an apartment block in eastern Ukraine over the weekend rose to 24 on Monday and rescuers were still combing the rubble for survivors, the State Emergency Service said.

Nine people have been rescued from the ruins of the five-storey block in the town of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk region that was struck late on Saturday, the agency said.

The emergency services said 55 people were helping the rescue effort.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in what it calls a special military operation, denies targeting civilians.

Russia is expected to focus the brunt of its assault on eastern Ukraine on the region of Donetsk after claiming the capture of neighbouring Luhansk region. Together the regions make up the Donbas. (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic and Max Hunder; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Catherine Evans and Alex Richardson)