(CNN) — Several explosions were reported in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol in southern Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and annexed Crimea, including the Russian military headquarters.
The Melitopol bombing came amid reports by officials on both sides that Ukraine had launched a missile attack on the city on Saturday, while Russian state media said Sunday morning it had attacked the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Separately, there were also reports of several explosions in Russia-annexed Crimea.
Moscow-based Melitopol officials said four missiles hit the city, killing two and injuring 10, while Melitopol’s mayor reported multiple explosions, including one possibly at a church occupied by Russian forces.
However, Ukrainian officials have not commented on the explosions in Crimea or the Donetsk People’s Republic, and CNN was unable to verify the cause of the blasts or the extent of the damage.
Missiles hit Melitopol
Melitopol, in Ukraine’s Zaporozhye province, has been under Russian occupation since early March.
Yevgeny Politsky, acting governor of Russia’s Zaporizhia, said the missile attack on Melitopol had “completely destroyed” a recreation center with “people, civilians and basic personnel”. [militar] They were having dinner on Saturday.”
The attacks were confirmed by Ivan Fedorov, a former administrator of the city of Melitopol in Ukraine, who said they targeted Russian military bases.
Fedorov said last month that Russia had turned Melitopol into “a giant military base”.
“The Russian army is settling in the local houses, schools and kindergartens they captured. Military equipment is stationed in residential areas,” Fedorov said in November.
Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said several explosions took place at the Melitopol Christian Church, “many months ago the invaders took it over and built their hideout.”
Fedorov, who was not in Melitopol, said there were deaths and injuries among Russian forces there.
Meanwhile, Russian officials said on Sunday morning that Ukrainian missiles hit several apartment buildings in the Donetsk People’s Republic, some landing near the Opera and Ballet Theater and Kalinin Hospital.
Ukraine launched 20 Krat missiles at 5:54 a.m. local time Sunday in the direction of Voroshilovsky and Kalininsky districts, said Alexei Kulemchin, head of the pro-Russian city administration.
Kulemzin said the Ukrainian shelling hit the city’s Kyivskiy district at around 11:03 local time on Saturday night.
The Ukrainian military has yet to confirm or comment on the attack.
Donetsk has been in the hands of Russian-backed separatists since 2014.
The Dnipropetrovsk region in southern Ukraine was also shelled overnight by Krat and heavy artillery, Valentyn Reznichenko, head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, told Telegram on Sunday. There was no loss of life, he said.
The communities of Nikopol, Chervonohryhorivka and Marhanets were hit, Reznichenko said, with more than 50 shells fired. Nikopol District, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, lies across the river Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant occupied by Russia.
In the community of Cervonohrihorivka, gas pipes and electricity lines were damaged along with 15 houses, several outbuildings and cars. Three villages remain without electricity or water, he said, and emergency teams have already begun repair work.
Explosions in Crimea
The attack on Melitopol came amid images on social media and reports of multiple explosions in the Crimean city of Simferopol around 9pm local time on Saturday.
There were also reports of explosions in Sevastopol, the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet; A Russian military barracks in Sovietske; and Hvardiiske, Dzhankoi and Nyzhniohirskyi
The explosions follow Russian claims that Kyiv is behind recent drone strikes on military airfields deep inside Ukraine, after Moscow stepped up missile attacks on Ukraine last week.
There are conflicting accounts surrounding the bombings in Crimea.
The unofficial Crimean media portal “Krymskyi veter” claimed that an explosion at a Russian military barracks in Sovietke set the barracks on fire, killing and injuring people.
However, a pro-Russian channel in Crimea attributed the barracks fire to “negligent fire management”.
“Two people died. “Now all the soldiers, around two hundred, have been accommodated elsewhere,” he said.
Sergei Aksenov, the Russian-appointed head of Crimea, said in a telegram: “The air defense system worked over Simferopol. All services will function as usual.
Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvosev said the explosions were caused by a firing exercise.
1.5 million lose power in Odessa
The news comes amid reports that 1.5 million people in Ukraine’s Odesa region have lost power following strikes by Iranian-made drones.
“Russian terrorists have used 15 Shahed drones against Odisha,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his daily address on Saturday.
He said “Ukrainian air defenses” had shot down 10 of the 15 drones, but suggested the damage was still “significant” and it would take days to restore power to the region.
“Only critical infrastructure is connected and can provide electricity,” he said.
Ukraine has faced widespread attacks on its critical infrastructure and energy sources since early October. It’s gone Millions across the country are facing power outages Amid freezing winter temperatures.
“In general, emergency and stabilization power outages continue in various areas,” Zelensky said. “The system of power is now, to put it mildly, far from normal.”
Odessa is already one of the hardest-hit areas following previous Russian attacks on critical infrastructure.
“This is the real attitude of Russia towards Odessa, towards the residents of Odessa: deliberate intimidation, deliberate attempt to bring disaster to the city,” Zelensky added.
Zelensky added that Ukraine this Saturday “received a new support package worth 100 million USD from Norway” which “will be used precisely to restore our energy system after these Russian attacks.”