Ukraine attacked occupied Melitopol in the country’s southeast on Saturday evening, said Pro-Russian authorities, adding that multiple explosions have been reported in the strategically located city.
Reports mentioned several exiled Ukrainian authorities as saying that blasts were also reported in Donetsk People’s Republic, Crimea, including at Russian military barracks.
As per the authorities, a missile attack killed at least two people and also injured nearly 10. The exiled mayor said a number of “invaders” were killed.
Yevgeny Balitsky, the Moscow-appointed governor of the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, said on the Telegram messaging app: “Air defence systems destroyed two missiles, four reached their targets.”
Balitsky also said that HIMARS missiles were used in the attack and a “recreation centre” was targeted where people were dining. The centre was destroyed in the Ukrainian attack, the mayor mentioned.
Ivan Fedorov, who is the exiled mayor, said on Telegram that the attack hit a church, which was designated as a place that the Russians can use as a gathering place.
Fedorov is Ukraine’s former administrator of Melitopol city and he also said that the strikes had targeted Russian military bases. Just last month, Fedorov had said that Russia had turned Melitopol into “one giant military base”.
“The Russian military is settling in local houses they seized, schools and kindergartens. Military equipment is stationed in residential areas,” he had said in November.
In another post by Vladimir Rogov, who is also a Moscow-installed official in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia, it was mentioned that a big fire was caused by the strike and it engulfed the recreation centre. He also posted a video of a structure in flames.