KYIV - A Russian rocket strike destroyed a five-storey apartment block in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, killing at least three people and leaving other residents trapped under rubble, the regional governor and emergencies service said on Thursday.
Firefighters rushed through the streets to tackle the blazes after the overnight attack, and more explosions were heard on Thursday morning in what local officials said was a renewed Russian strike.
"Another enemy missile attack. Stay in shelters!" Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, told residents on the Telegram messaging app.
He later told Ukrainian television that one woman was killed in the overnight shelling, but said another woman who was earlier reported dead had survived.
Ukrainian emergencies service said later on Thursday a total of three bodies had been pulled from the rubble.
Twelve people were wounded, including a three-year-old child. Five were still under the rubble, Starukh said.
Photographs released by Ukrainian emergency services showed huge piles of rubble where residential buildings had been hit.
The missile strikes underlined Moscow's ability to strike Ukrainian cities despite recent Russian setbacks in the war.
Russia did not immediately comment on the events in Zaporizhzhia city, which is under the control of Ukrainian forces. Moscow has denied deliberately targeting civilians in its "special military operation" in Ukraine.
The region of Zaporizhzhia is one of four in Ukraine recently annexed by Russia. Ukraine says it will never accept the illegal seizure of its territory by force, while Kyiv and the West said the referendums were rigged votes held at gunpoint.
President Vladimir Putin has also ordered the Russian state to seize control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, Europe's biggest, about 50 km (31 miles) southwest of Zaporizhzhia city. The plant is still run by Ukrainian engineers despite being captured early in the war by Russian forces.
The power station is close to the front line, on a Russian-controlled bank of a huge reservoir with Ukrainian forces on the opposite bank. Both sides have warned of the danger of a potential nuclear disaster if the plant is hit.
(Reporting by Kyiv newsroom and by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Hugh Lawson)