Russia has launched a series of missile and artillery attacks on Ukraine, the second pre-dawn attack in three days.

One person died in the Kherson region and 25 people – including three children – were injured in Dnipropetrovsk.

Ukraine’s armed forces said 15 of 18 missiles fired were intercepted by the country’s air defence.

One of the main targets was the city of Pavlohrad near Dnipro – a Russian-installed official said resources for a Ukrainian offensive were hit.

Writing on Telegram with a thumbs-up gesture, Vladimir Rogov said missiles targeted railway infrastructure and fuel depots.

Nineteen high-rise apartment blocks, 25 private houses, six schools and kindergartens, and five shops were also damaged.

Pavlohrad is in Ukrainian-held territory, around 70 miles (110km) from the frontline.

Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk military administration described it as a “tragic night and morning”.

In Kyiv, the air raid alert sounded at around 04:00 local time (02:00 GMT) and lasted for about three hours. The military administration said all missiles and drones directed at the capital were destroyed.

In the Kherson region – which is still partly controlled by Russia – Ukrainian regional authorities said Russia had carried out 39 shellings.

They came from ground-based weapons, as well as drones and planes, the authorities said.

Recent days have seen an increase in attacks in Ukraine, with places away from the front lines being targeted. On Friday, 23 people were killed in the central city of Usman.

Ukraine says it is finishing plans for a long-awaited offensive against Russian forces, supported by Western-supplied weapons and military equipment.

Russia, meanwhile, is also preparing for a Ukrainian push and has fortified its positions in occupied territory.

In the latest change at the country’s military leadership, Cl Gen Mikhail Mizintsev – the Russian deputy defence minister who oversaw armed forces logistics – has been sacked, after being appointed to the role only last September.

There have been longstanding complaints that front-line troops are not getting sufficient military equipment, and suffer shortages of food and uniforms.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian official on Monday said the army had ousted Russian forces from some positions in Bakhmut, an eastern city that has been under siege for months.

General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of ground forces, said on Telegram the situation remained “quite difficult” – but “the enemy is unable to take control of the city”.

BBC/Adetutu Adetule

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