The mayor of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has dismissed Moscow’s claim of a scale-back in operations, following what he describes as a "colossal attack."
His words came as it emerged that the city was “under fire” from Russian airstrikes while shelling continued through the night, according to Viacheslav Chaus, head of the Chernihiv regional administration.
In an interview with New Day's John Berman, the city's mayor Vladyslav Atroshenko hit out at Russia's claim on Tuesday that it planned to "drastically reduce" its military assault on Chernihiv and the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
This is yet another confirmation that Russia always lies," he told Berman.
Watch the interview:
Russia made the claim on Tuesday following talks it had with Ukrainian representatives in Turkey. The suggestion appeared appeared to show signs of progress towards an off ramp to the conflict.
But according to Atroshenko, hostilities actually increased in Chernihiv since the claim was made.
He said: "They're saying reducing intensity, they actually have increased the intensity of strikes. Today we have a colossal attack on the center of Chernihiv. Twenty-five people have been wounded and are now in hospitals. They're all civilians. So whenever Russia says something, this needs to be checked carefully."
In an interview posted on Telegram on Wednesday, Chaus said the situation in the region had not changed despite claims by Russia.
He said Russian troops had carried out strikes on the city of Nizhyn, destroying “civil infrastructure” as well as “libraries, shopping malls and many residential buildings,” while in Chernihiv there is “no electricity, no water, no heat and no gas.”
Communications are down with “no possibility to restore them,” making it difficult to reach isolated villages, he added.
There are villages where Russian tanks are stationed. We know that there are our people there and the situation is the worst there, because we are not able to get there and bring either medicine or food.”
Ukrainian troops are prepared and are fighting back against Russian troops in the Chernihiv region, he added.