Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

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Russian shelling left two people dead and injured another eight in Donetsk over the last 24 hours, as the battle for control of the eastern Ukrainian region escalates.

One of the deaths was reported in Bakhmut, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration. Two other people were wounded in the city.

A multi-story building, a private house and a shop were also damaged in Bakhmut, he said. 

The situation “remains tense” in several villages, including Paraskoviivka, Razdolivka and Vasyukivka, near the Russian-controlled town of Soledar, Kyrylenko added. 

Some context: Moscow has launched relentless attacks on eastern Ukraine in recent days, after a top Kyiv official said Russia is preparing for a “maximum escalation” of the nearly year-long war in Ukraine.

“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

“I’m conscious the main fights are yet to come and they will happen this year, within two to three months,” he said.

“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It is gathering everything possible, doing drills and training. When it comes to an offensive from different directions, as of now, I can say that we are not excluding any scenario in the next two to three weeks.”

CNN’s Jack Guy, Yulia Kesaieva, Mick Krever, Jonny Hallam and Josh Pennington contributed reporting.

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