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"Today, on December 18, at around 17:00, Russian-occupation troops operating from Horlivka carried out a barbaric and cynical shelling from MLR systems of the village of Novoluhanske in the Luhansk sector of the ATO zone,” reads the report posted on the press center’s page on Facebook.

“Unfortunately, there are casualties among the civilian population and destruction of residential buildings in Novoluhanske," the report said.

Read alsoRussia terminates work at JCCC in DonbasThe ATO HQ noted that the number of victims and the extent of the destruction were being verified.

Measures are being taken to evacuate local residents and tackle fires resulting from the shelling, a Ukrainian volunteer Yuriy Mysyagin wrote on Facebook: "10 minutes ago separatists shelled a populated village of Novoluhanske from their Grad MLR systems. They launched the whole batch [of shells]. Houses are burning. There are wounded among the locals."