Russian forces kill seven including baby in south Ukraine

A column of black smoke rising above while a farmer operates a tractor in the filed in Kherson region.
Reuters file photo

Seven people including a newborn baby, her 12-year-old brother and their parents were killed on Sunday by Russian shelling in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, officials said.

Also among the victims was a Christian pastor, officials said, adding that another 13 people received injuries.

The three adults and two children were killed in the village of Shyroka Balka in the region of Kherson, Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said on messaging app Telegram, releasing pictures showing the aftermath of the shelling attack.

One photo showed a column of black smoke rising above a house. "A husband, wife and their 23-day-old daughter were killed by enemy artillery fire," Klymenko wrote.

The couple's 12-year-old son was hospitalised in critical condition and later died, Klymenko said in a separate statement.

In the village of Stanislav two men aged 57 and 71 were killed, officials said. One of the victims was identified as a Christian pastor.

Another 13 people were injured as a result of Russian shelling, Klymenko said. "Terrorists must be stopped. They must be stopped by force," he said.

France condemned the strikes on Kherson as "unacceptable acts that constitute war crimes that cannot remain unpunished".

"These new attacks on civilian populations shows once again Russia's complete disregard of all the principles of international humanitarian law, which it has blatantly and repeatedly violated," a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

Kherson was one of four regions in Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed last year.

Late last year, Russian troops withdrew from the city of Kherson but Moscow has continued to target settlements in the region.

Pro-Russian officials for their part said that a civilian died due to Ukrainian shelling in the settlement of Zaitsevo in the eastern Ukranian region of Donetsk.

In the settlement of Severny in the same region a man was killed and a woman received injuries, officials said.