The pro-Russian authorities of Donetsk accused the Ukrainian security forces of shelling the city center with 20 Grad rockets
Authorities installed by Russia in the strategically located city of Melitopol said Ukraine attacked the occupied city in the country’s southeast late Saturday.
Pro-Moscow authorities said two people were killed and 10 injured in the rocket attack, while the exiled mayor claimed that dozens of “occupiers” had died.
“Air defense systems destroyed two missiles, four reached the target,” Evgeny Paletsky, the Moscow-appointed governor of the “Russian” part of the Zaporozhye region, said on Telegram.
He added that during the shelling of the Ukrainian HIMARS, a “recreation center” where people had lunch was destroyed.
The exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov said on his Telegram channel that a church that the Russians had turned into a gathering place had come under fire.
Vladimir Rogov, another Moscow-appointed official in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporozhye, said the entertainment center was on fire caused by the attack. A video clip of a burning building was shown.
Oleksiy Aristovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Melitopol, a major industrial and transport hub that Russia has occupied since March, plays a key role in defending the south.
“If Melitopol falls, the entire line of defense will collapse down to Kherson. The Ukrainian forces will have a direct road to Crimea,” Aristovich said in a video interview on social networks.
The Ukrainian military did not comment on the attacks. The Central Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced on Saturday that it had launched an offensive against Melitopol.
Yesterday, Saturday, local authorities announced that power had been cut off from all non-essential infrastructure in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa after Russia launched drone strikes on energy facilities and hit much of the surrounding area.
More than 1.5 million people were left without electricity
Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov wrote on Facebook: “Due to the scale of the damage, electricity has been cut off in Odessa for all users, except for critical infrastructure facilities,” Reuters reported.
The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine said that Iranian Shahed-136 drones attacked two energy facilities in the Odessa region.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that more than 1.5 million people were cut off from electricity in Odessa on Saturday after a night attack by Russian “suicide drones”, AFP reported.