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KYIV: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that the Russian army had hit the central square of the northern city of Chernihiv including a theatre and a university, warning there are victims.

Chernihiv lies some 150 kilometres (90 miles) north of Kyiv towards the border with Belarus.

"A Russian missile hit right in the centre of the city, in our Chernihiv," Zelensky said on Telegram.

"A square, the polytechnic university, a theatre. An ordinary Saturday, which Russia turned into a day of pain and loss. There are dead, there are wounded."

Putin meets top generals in charge of Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine

He posted a video from the scene that showed debris around a large Soviet-era building, with parked cars around it that were partially destroyed, with smashed roofs and windows blown out.

The governor of the Chernihiv region, Vyacheslav Chaus, earlier said that the centre of the city was probably struck with a ballistic missile and called on people to "stay in hiding places".

Russian forces marched through Chernihiv when they invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, from several directions, including from Belarus.

They were then pushed back by Ukrainian forces.

Since Moscow's forces were repelled from the area, northern Ukraine has been largely spared by the fierce fighting that has raged in the east and south.

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