Pro-Russian authorities in the occupied southern Ukrainian city of Kherson accused Kyiv’s forces of killing two people including a former lawmaker on Sunday in a missile strike on a hotel.

“Today, at around 05:30 (0230 GMT), Sep. 25, the Ukrainian armed forces fired a missile on the Play Hotel by Ribas” in Kherson, the regional Russian-controlled administration said in a statement.

“According to preliminary data, two people died in this terrorist act. Rescue workers are still combing the rubble to search for victims.”

Regional official Kirill Stremousov said Oleksiy Jouravko, a pro-Russian former Ukrainian lawmaker, was among the dead.

The authorities said journalists from Russian media were in the hotel when the missile struck.

State television channel RT published images purporting to show one of its cameramen being extricated from a pile of rubble.

The claims could not be independently verified.

They come as pro-Moscow authorities in four Ukrainian regions including Kherson are holding referendums on joining Russia.

Kyiv and its Western allies have condemned the votes, due to continue until Tuesday, as illegitimate.

Kherson fell to Russian troops soon after the conflict began in February. The city is located in an area where Ukrainian forces have launched a large-scale counter-offensive.