Ukraine Official Says Russia Strikes 'Absolute Terrorism'

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russian missile strikes early Monday on Ukraine's second-largest city killed at least three people and injured scores, including children, the local administrator said, describing the attacks in Kharkiv as "absolute terrorism."

Kharkiv regional Gov. Oleh Syneihubov said on Telegram that the Russian forces only hit civilian targets in three missile strikes on the northeastern city -- one missile destroyed a school, another hit a residential building while the third landed near warehouse facilities.

"All (three were launched) exclusively on civilian objects, this is absolute terrorism!" Syneihubov said.

He said those hospitalized for injuries suffered in the attacks included children ages 4 and 16.

The strikes came just two days after a Russian rocket attack struck apartment buildings in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 19 people. A total of eight people have been rescued, emergency officials said.

The strike late Saturday destroyed three buildings in a residential quarter of the town of Chasiv Yar, inhabited mostly by people who work in nearby factories.

Russian attacks in the east also have continued, with Luhansk regional Gov. Serhiy Haidai saying on Monday that the shelling hit settlements on the administrative border with the Donetsk region.

Russian forces carried out five missile strikes and four rounds of shelling in the area, Haidai said.

The Luhansk and Donetsk regions together make up Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland known as Donbas, where separatist rebels have fought Ukrainian forces since 2014.

Earlier this month, Russia captured the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, the city of Lysychansk.

After the seizure of Lysychansk, some analysts predicted Moscow's troops likely would take some time to rearm and regroup, but Ukrainian officials said there has been no pause in attacks.

The British military assessed that Russian troops weren't getting needed breaks.

The Defense Ministry tweeted Monday that online videos suggested at least one tank brigade in the war was "mentally and physically exhausted" as they had been on active combat duty since the start of the war on Feb. 24.

The British said: "The lack of scheduled breaks from intense combat conditions is highly likely one of the most damaging of the many personnel issues the Russian (Ministry of Defense) is struggling to rectify amongst the deployed force."

Also on Monday, the main Russian gas pipeline to Germany began a 10-day closure for maintenance amid European fears that Moscow may not turn the flow back on after its completion.