Ukraine's military reported heavy shelling Monday by Russian forces, with at least three more Ukrainian civilians killed and another 20 wounded.
The three deaths and 13 of the injuries were recorded in the eastern Donetsk region, the scene of intense fighting for weeks, as Moscow's forces targeted numerous towns and villages since Sunday and hit dozens of residential buildings.
Another seven people were wounded in Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, where Russia also shelled residential buildings and an area near a bus stop.
The claim could not be verified, but Russia's Defense Ministry said it had hit a military facility in Kharkiv that had killed at least 100 and wounded 50 "mercenaries" from Poland and Germany. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said it had destroyed more than 10 Russian warehouses stored with ammunition and military equipment in the past week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Moscow's forces fighting in Ukraine, saying at an arms show outside the capital that they are "fulfilling all the tasks that were set, liberating the Donbas step by step.' The Donbas is Ukraine's eastern industrialized region that includes the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.
Tensions remained high around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, with Russia and Ukraine continuing to accuse each other of firing weapons near the facility. Russia captured the plant in March, shortly after invading Ukraine, but Ukrainian technicians operate it.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told VOA's Ukrainian Service that "it makes no sense for us" to shell the facility "because today we understand the full level of nuclear danger to humanity. We survived the Chernobyl tragedy in 1986. It is the Ukrainians who know what the Chernobyl tragedy was in the first place and how many people died later from the radiation.
"That's why we are calling on everyone to intervene, and we ask not only the [International Atomic Energy Agency] but also the entire international community to intervene and influence in order for this not to become another cause of a nuclear disaster in Europe," Reznikov said.
With the fear of a disaster, Reznikov said, "We are convinced that Russian units should not be concentrated there and that what is happening now is simply a provocation and a kind of game to test the 'nuclear nerves' of the world's society as a whole."
The plant's operator reported the facility was at risk of violating radiation and fire standards after a surge in rocket fire in the last week.
The head of the IAEA said there is "a real risk of nuclear disaster" unless the fighting stops and inspectors are allowed inside the facility.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy used part of his nightly video address Sunday to call on Russians to oppose the war that Putin launched in late February. Zelenskyy said Russian citizens who are silent about the war are supporting it.
"And no matter where you are - on the territory of Russia or abroad - your voice should sound in support of Ukraine, and therefore against this war," Zelenskyy said.
He also voiced support for a potential European Union visa ban for Russian travelers.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.