Russia reeling after ‘unexplained explosions’ hit ammo and fuel dumps

Blasts are reputed to have struck two fuel depots, a steel mill that Russia employs as a military base, and an ammo cache at an airport, according to a statement by the British Ministry of Defence. Mariupol was widely devastated earlier in the war but is still important to Russia because it is the largest city that Russia captured in 2022 and currently controls, and it is also located on a crucial logistics route.

The MoD update stated: “Since 21 February 2023, pro-Russian officials have reported at least 14 explosions around the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol.

“Sites of the incidents have included an ammo cache at the airport, two fuel depots, and a steel works that Russia uses as a military base. Mariupol lies at least 80km away from the front line.

“Russia will likely be concerned that unexplained explosions are occurring in a zone it had probably previously assessed as beyond the range of routine Ukrainian strike capabilities.

“Although widely devasted earlier in the war, Mariupol is important to Russia because it is the. largest city Russia captured in 2022 that it still controls, and sits on a key logistics route.”

Ukraine’s presidential office said Monday that at least two civilians were killed and nine others were wounded by Russian attacks over the previous 24 hours.

It said that intense fighting has continued around Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Vuhledar in the Donetsk region, which have come under relentless Russian shelling. Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Russia is using aircraft and heavy artillery there.

In the south, the city of Kherson also came under Russian shelling, killing one and wounding two civilians.

The city of Nikopol across the Dnieper from the Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant also was struck by the Russian shelling, which damaged residential buildings, power lines and a gas pipeline.

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Odesa and the surrounding region suffered a complete blackout Monday.

The authorities didn’t give the reason for it but said that repair crews will start work to restore the energy supply.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has triggered “the most massive violations of human rights” in the world today, the head of the United Nations said on Monday.

The Russian invasion “has unleashed widespread death, destruction and displacement,” U.N. Secretary-General António said in a speech to the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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After failing to capture the Ukrainian capital in the opening weeks of the invasion and suffering a series of humiliating setbacks in the east and the south during the fall, Russia has stabilized the front and concentrating its efforts on a slow push to capture the rest of the Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of the Donbas.

Ukraine, meanwhile, hopes to use battle tanks and other new weapons pledged by the West to launch new counteroffensives and reclaim more of the occupied territory.

Guterres said “attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have caused many casualties and terrible suffering.”

His remarks came as the Ukrainian military said that Russia launched attacks with exploding drones on several regions of the country that lasted from late Sunday until Monday morning.

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