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Since the start of the year, four people have been killed and seven injured in Zaporizhzhia Oblast as a result of Russian attacks, Zaporizhzhia Oblast Governor Starukh said.
According to Starukh, there have been more than 600 attacks since Jan. 1, including shelling and missile attacks on civilian infrastructure and towns in the oblast.
The number of shelling in the region has recently increased to nearly a hundred per day, Starukh said. The governor previously said that attacks are carried out either on critical infrastructure facilities or Russian troops “randomly fire at communities, terrorizing the civilian population.”
Two people were killed and three wounded in Russian shelling of the village of Prymorske on Jan. 5. Among those killed and injured were employees of the village council, who were on their way to deliver firewood for the citizens, Starukh reported.
The “long-suffering” city of Orikhiv and the settlement of Stepnohirsk also came under Russian heavy artillery fire on Jan. 5, the governor added.
Russia has partially occupied Ukraine's southeastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast since the early days of the full-scale invasion. It was one of the four oblasts Russia claimed to have annexed following sham referendums in September, despite not controlling the entire oblast.
It is also home to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant—Europe's largest nuclear plant—occupied by Russia since early March and used by its troops to shell Ukrainian-controlled territories across the Dnipro River.
There have been murmurings that Ukraine's next counteroffensive could be to retake occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Forbes reported in early December that artillery activity near Huliaipole and Polohy in the oblast could be a sign that Ukraine’s fourth counteroffensive might be imminent.