Two people were killed and one wounded after Russian forces shelled a village near the town of Kupiansk in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region, the region's governor said Saturday.
Officials in Kupiansk, about four miles (six kilometers) from the frontline, had urged vulnerable residents living near the town to evacuate earlier this month as Russia stepped up attacks to recapture the area.
"According to the preliminary information of the medical staff, two people died in Podoly village as a result of the shelling, another one was wounded," Kharkiv governor Oleg Synegubov said on social media.
"The enemy hit a civilian target — a cafe, where local residents were spending the day," he added.
The Russian military has said over recent days that it is advancing near the area, which was recaptured by Ukraine last year but is now subject to a renewed offensive.
Ukraine said Thursday that Russian shelling in Zaoskillya, a suburb just east of Kupiansk, killed an elderly woman.
Kyiv launched its long-anticipated counteroffensive to reclaim occupied territory in June but has acknowledged tough battles as it struggles to break through heavily fortified Russian positions.