Mykolaiv in Ukraine hit by heavy shelling as Putin issues ‘lightning speed’ threats

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said cluster munitions blew out windows and destroyed balconies. “Mykolaiv suffered massive shelling today. Probably the strongest ever,” he said in a statement.

A CNN crew on the ground heard explosions from the strikes and saw fires that broke out during the shelling. Residents interviewed by CNN also said it was the heaviest bombing of the city since the start of the war.

At least one person was killed and two injured in the attack, according to Vitalii Kim, head of the Mykolaiv regional military administration.

In a speech commemorating Russian Navy Day in St. Petersburg, Putin made no mention of Russia’s war in Ukraine, but said “the current situation in his country demands very decisive actions.”

“We will provide firm protection by all means. The key here lies in the capabilities of the Navy, which is able to respond with lightning speed to anyone who decides to encroach on our sovereignty and our freedom,” he said. said Putin.

Putin said that the country’s delivery Zircon hypersonic cruise missile systems would begin in the coming months. Russia said in May it had successfully tested the Zircon missile over a distance of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

War crimes charges

Separately, at least three people have been killed and eight injured in fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to Donetsk’s military-civilian administration, which said villages in the area had been targeted by artillery , Russian Grad missiles and Uragan rockets.

“11 private residential buildings and a high-rise building, a police station, a market, a canteen were damaged, and three fields were set on fire,” the administration said.

The Ukrainian General Staff said Russian forces were attacking the front lines in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

A firefighter responds to a shelling in Mykolaiv, Ukraine on Sunday July 31.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on the remaining residents of the Donetsk region to evacuate urgently in what he called a “government decision”.

“Everything is being organised. Full support, full assistance – both logistics and payments,” he said in his evening speech. “We only need a decision from the people themselves, who haven’t made it for themselves yet.”

A strike against a prison Friday in separatist-held eastern Ukraine resulted in the deaths of at least 40 prisoners. Olenivka prison near Donetsk was used to house many Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered at the Azovstal factory in Mariupol several months ago.
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UK Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons said the strike was part of a “worst kind of human rights abuse” pattern on her Twitter on Saturday. “Olenivka must be investigated. This appears to be part of an increasingly disturbing pattern of the worst types of human rights violations and possible war crimes, committed with impunity in the world. east of occupied Ukraine,” the ambassador tweeted.

Zelensky said the attack was “a deliberate war crime committed by the Russians”.

Ukrainian intelligence said the strikes were carried out by the Russian mercenary group Wagner and were not coordinated with the Russian Defense Ministry. CNN cannot independently verify the accusations made by Ukrainian military intelligence.

Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack.