Ukraine's southern region is reeling from a series of arson and grenade attacks which have obliterated several buildings.
Last night [5 January], an unknown individual blew up two grenades in Apostolovo, a town in the Dnepropetrovsk region, near the shopping centre and the main gateway to the conurbation.
According to a witness, the attacker threw the grenade near the Millennium shopping centre before proceeding by car to the Kryvyi Rih–Zaporizhia road, where there was a further explosion. No injuries were reported in the two attacks.
An explosion also ripped through Odessa, near the office of the Euromaidan coordination centre. Again, no-one was hurt in the explosion, but several windows were knocked out and the main entrance badly damaged.
In Kherson, the administrative centre of the Kherson-Oblast region, unknown attackers reportedly tried to set fire to the office of the local community protection fund at around 4am local time.
The fund's official Facebook page claims that "the front door was set on fire. The combustible mixture set alight after being flooded through the mail slot in the door. Both windows ignited."
The Kherson fund is designed to provide money to the Ukraine army, and the families of military personnel fighting pro-Russian insurgents in Donetsk.
Some analysts believe that, although southern Ukraine is peripheral to the main theatre of conflict in Donetsk, Russia wants to capture the Odessa and Kherson regions to cut off Ukraine from the sea and establish an excellent overland connection with the Crimea, as well as acres of fertile land.