Four dead in Russian strike on Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr - adviser to interior minister

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A Ukrainian service member is seen, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, at a check point in the city of Zhytomyr, Ukraine February 27, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi/File Photo

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March 2 (Reuters) - Four people were killed when homes in the Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr were hit on Tuesday by a Russian cruise missile apparently aimed at a nearby air base, Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, said on his Telegram channel.

He said the residential buildings near the base of the 95th Airborne Brigade in Zhytomyr, 120 km (75 miles) west of the capital Kyiv, had been set on fire,

"So far, four people have died. Including a child," he said.

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Moscow warned residents of the capital Kyiv on Tuesday to flee their homes and rained rockets on Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, as Russian commanders intensified their bombardment of urban areas in a shift of tactics after their six-day assault stalled. read more

Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Lyashko wrote on his Facebook page that Russian forces had killed a paediatric anaesthesiologist, firing at her car as she was driving her wounded nephew to the hospital from the village of Kukhari, in the Kyiv region.

Ukraine's defence ministry said a total of 16 high-precision guided missiles had been fired on Monday, between 7:07 p.m. and 7:51 p.m. (1707 GMT and 1751 GMT), at residential areas of Kharkiv from a strategic bomber flying over Russia's Belgorod region.

"High-rise buildings, schools, kindergartens and other infrastructure of the city were destroyed," the ministry said on its Facebook page.

"According to preliminary data, dozens of Kharkiv residents, including children, died from these airstrikes," it added.

"Unfortunately, in the current situation, it is extremely difficult for the Air Force to cover the sky in this region, because part of the country's air defence system was destroyed by Russian ballistic and cruise missile strikes."

In the largely Russian-speaking city of Donetsk, in territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists, local authorities said three civilians had been killed by Ukrainian shelling.

The self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, recognised as independent by Moscow last week, was one of the transit points used by Russian forces that invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Reuters was not able to confirm any of the incidents.

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Writing by Kevin Liffey; editing by Richard Pullin and Grant McCool

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