The Russian military authorities in Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson have postponed its referendum on joining Russia, citing security reasons.
The announcement comes as Ukraine says its forces have recaptured Vysokopillya, a town some 167km (104 miles) north of central Kherson.
The regaining of the territory is part of a counter-offensive in the south launched by the Ukrainian army last week.
Ukraine and its Western allies have denounced the referendum plans by Russia in occupied Kherson and other areas as illegal.
“This (referendum) is being paused because of the security situation,” said Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-appointed administration in Kherson.
Speaking on Russian state TV, Mr Stremousov said Ukrainian shelling had damaged Kherson’s Antonovskiy Bridge to such an extent that vehicles could no longer cross it.
He said barges transporting civilians across the Dnieper (Dnipro) river were also coming under Ukrainian fire, as was the city’s infrastructure.
He said heavy Ukrainian shelling had made a key Kherson bridge impassable.
The Russians have relied on the bridge to bring troops and hardware in and out of Kherson.
Russia has been planning referendums in Kherson and the southern Zaporizhzhia region, most of which it controls.
In recent weeks, Ukraine has deployed US-made Himars multiple rocket launchers in its drive to push the Russians out of the city of Kherson the first to fall to them after their 24 February invasion.
Back in 2014, Russian authorities held a referendum in annexed Crimea but it was not recognised internationally