Mykolaiv in Ukraine comes under heavy fire as Putin threatens ‘lightning speed’

The mayor of Nikolaev, Alexander Senkevich, said that cluster munitions had smashed windows and destroyed balconies. “Nikolaev was subjected to massive shelling today. Probably the strongest of all time,” the statement said.

The CNN team on the ground heard the explosions caused by the strikes and saw the fires that started from the shelling. Residents interviewed by CNN also said it was the heaviest shelling of the city since the start of the war.

Vitaly Kim, head of the Mykolaiv regional military administration, said at least one person died and two were injured in the attack.

In a speech marking Russian Navy Day in St. Petersburg, Putin did not mention Russia’s war in Ukraine, but said that “the current situation in his country requires very decisive action.”

“We will give protection firmly and by all means. The key here is the capabilities of the Navy, which is capable of reacting with lightning speed to anyone who decides to encroach on our sovereignty and freedom, ”Putin said.

Putin said deliveries of Zirkon hypersonic cruise missiles would begin in the coming months. Russia said in May that it had successfully tested a Zircon missile at a distance of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

War crimes allegations

In addition, at least three people were killed and eight wounded in fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to the Donetsk Military-Civilian Administration, which said towns and cities in the region were hit by artillery, Russian Grad rockets and Uragan rockets.

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

The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Russian troops attacked the front lines in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on the remaining residents Donetsk region to urgently evacuate, which he called “the decision of the government”.

“Everything is organized. Full support, full assistance – both logistical and payment, ”he said in his nightly address. “We only need the decision of the people themselves, who have not yet accepted it for themselves.”

A strike on a separatist-held prison in eastern Ukraine on Friday killed at least 40 prisoners. Olenevskaya prison near Donetsk was used to house many Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol a few months ago.
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British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons said the strike was part of a “worst human rights violation” scheme on her Twitter on Saturday. “Olenovka needs an investigation. This looks like part of an increasingly disturbing picture of the worst human rights violations and possible war crimes being committed with impunity in occupied eastern Ukraine,” the ambassador tweeted.

Zelenskiy said the attack was a “deliberate Russian war crime.”

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

Russia accused Ukraine of the attack.

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