Ukraine attacked Russian-occupied Melitopol, according to Ukrainian authorities installed and exiled from Moscow in the strategically located city in the southeast of the country.
Pro-Moscow authorities said a missile attack on Saturday night killed two people and wounded 10, while Ukraine’s exiled mayor said dozens of “invaders” were killed.
Reuters could not independently verify reports of the attacks or deaths.
“Two missiles were destroyed by air defense systems, and four reached their targets,” Yevgeny Paletsky, the Moscow-appointed governor of the occupied part of the Zaporizhia region, said on the Telegram messaging app.
He said the “entertainment center” where people were eating was destroyed in the Ukrainian HIMARS attack.
The exiled mayor, Ivan Fedorov, said on his Telegram channel that the attack hit a church that Russians had turned into a gathering place.
Vladimir Rogov, another Moscow-appointed official in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhia, said a fire caused by the strike engulfed the entertainment centre. He posted a video of a burning structure.
The Himar multiple rocket launchers were among Ukraine’s most effective weapons of the war, firing accurate fire on hundreds of targets, including Russian command posts. On Friday, the United States said it would send more aid to Kiev to bolster its air defenses and defeat drones.
Oleksiy Aristovich, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said Melitopol, a major industrial and transport hub that Russia had occupied since March, was key to the south.
“All the logistics linking the Russian forces are being carried out in the eastern part of the Kherson region and all the way to the Russian border near Mariupol,” Aristovich said in a video interview on social media.
If Melitopol falls, then all [Russian] The line of defense all the way to Kherson collapses. Ukrainian forces are gaining a direct path to Crimea.
There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainian military on the attacks. Earlier today, the Central Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said it had carried out strikes on Melitopol.
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