Explosions Heard in Russian-Occupied City, Army Base Hit: Official

Explosions have rung out in a Russian-occupied city and army base, according to a Ukrainian official.

The mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov claimed there had been overnight strikes that hit the city as well as the nearby village of Myrne.

In a Sunday, August 28, Telegram post, translated from Ukrainian to English via Google, Fedorov said: "Another explosive night in Melitopol and Myrne village of Melitopol district. At 1 o'clock residents of all districts heard loud explosions.

"The first of them was so strong that windows in some houses shook and plaster fell. We are waiting for confirmation that the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed another base of the occupiers with jewel-like precision strikes. The enemy will never be at peace on our land."

In an update post, Fedorov said one of the buildings destroyed in Myrne was where a pseudo-referendum "was being conducted."

He added: "In Melitopol, one of the largest enemy bases in the territory of the 'Actovolorlit' plant was destroyed."

Newsweek has been unable to independently verify the claims.

Russian Soldiers in Melitopol
Russian servicemen stand guard in Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, on July 14, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine. Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov Said that explosions had rocked the city. OLGA MALTSEVA/GETTY

Both Melitopol and Myrne are located in the occupied Zaporizhzhya region which is part of the land corridor that connects the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk to the Crimean Peninsula.

The Kremlin first claimed to have captured Melitopol in February. It was the first major city that was taken by Russia since the outbreak of the war with Ukraine.

Fedorov recently told Newsweek that HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems] had aided Ukrainian forces in putting pressure on the Russian army.

Following a reported strike that killed more than 100 Russian soldiers, Fedorov said that the rocket systems had tipped the balance of warfare in Ukraine's favor.

He said: "Tonight is the most effective and shows that the existing enemy air defense units are no longer able to resist HIMARS.

"The weakening of the air defense system creates the necessary prerequisites for a successful counteroffensive in the direction of Melitopol."

Fedorov later added: "They [Russian soldiers] don't want to make war. They don't want to stay in Melitopol."

Newsweek has contacted the Kremlin and Fedorov for comment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has seemingly shifted the Russian war objective after forces were unable to capture Kyiv following the outbreak of the war.

Now, Russian forces have refocused their efforts in the east of Ukraine with the intention of connecting the separatist regions to Crimea.

When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the peninsula was physically cut off from the rest of the country.

But Ukraine has made clear on numerous occasions that it will not accept any of its territories being transferred to Russia.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war must end with the liberation of Crimea.

According to the BBC, following several explosions in the region, Zelensky said: "Crimea is Ukrainian and we will never give it up."