Ukrainian rockets hit Russian forces in the south of the country on Tuesday and killed 52 people, Kyiv said.
The attack, which has not been independently verified, apparently hit the town of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region with long-range rockets.
The rockets also destroyed Russian munitions, including seven armored vehicles, the Southern Ukraine Military Command said.
Ukraine said the strike signaled its new counteroffensive to hit back at the Kremlin in the south with hundreds of thousands of troops.
Russian officials said they were attacked by HIMARS missiles, which were recently supplied to Ukraine by the United States and hailed by Kyiv as a “game changer” in its fight.
“There are still a lot of people under the rubble. The injured are taken to hospital, but many people are stuck in their apartments and houses,” a Russian news agency quoted a military official as saying. The Kremlin said that so far at least seven people have died and around 60 are injured.
Ukraine has said it will step up its attacks in the region and is warning its citizens who are still in the besieged city of Kherson to evacuate.
“It is clear that there will be fighting, there will be artillery fire… and so we urge [people] to evacuate as a matter of urgency,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Sunday. “I know for sure that there shouldn’t be women and children there, and they shouldn’t become human shields.”
News of the attack from Ukraine comes as it announced that 35 people had been declared dead after Russia attacked a building in Chasiv Yar, a town in the eastern Donetsk region.
At least 12 Ukrainians were also injured in the south on Tuesday night in Mykolaiv.
With post wires