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Archive photo: Main city square with destroyed city council building in Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast, on Oct. 8, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Amadeusz Świerk)
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A Russian airstrike on the center of the city of Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast killed two people and injured at least five others, Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported on Feb. 28.

Kupiansk is situated just eight kilometers (five miles) from the front line. It had a population of over 27,000 in 2020, and was occupied by Russia between February and September 2022.

Russian forces used guided aerial bombs to attack the city center, killing two men aged 58 and 39, Syniehubov said.

The 58-year-old man was a pastor, and the strike hit a church and a cafe, the National Police said.

One woman was injured and there are likely "still people under the rubble," Syniehubov said in his first message on the strike. In a later update he said that five people were injured.

Ukraine's military warned on Feb. 27 that Russia was continuing to concentrate its forces near Kupiansk, which remains a primary target for Russia in the region as a crucial logistics juncture.

Following the capture of Avdiivka, Russia has intensified its offensive efforts across several sectors of Ukraine's front line, likely to stretch Ukrainian forces, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported in its Feb. 21 intelligence update.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) warned that Russia could replicate its successful tactics in Avdiivka on a larger scale if the West continues to delay military assistance.

Ukraine war latest: Ukraine withdraws from 2 more villages near Avdiivka, downs 2 Russian warplanes in single day
Key developments on Feb. 27: * Military: Ukraine withdraws from Stepove and Severne villages near Avdiivka * Air Force: Ukraine downs 2 Russian Su-34 planes in single day * Ukraine reports heavy battles in Bakhmut direction as Russia pulls in reserves * NATO members say they are not considering…
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