The mayor of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Senkevich, said cluster munitions were smashing windows and destroying balconies. “Mykolaiv was subjected to a mass bombardment today. Perhaps the most powerful bombardment ever,” he said in a statement.
The CNN team on the ground heard the explosions of the raids and saw fires that broke out during the bombing. Residents interviewed by CNN said this was the heaviest bombing of the city since the start of the war.
At least one person was killed and two wounded in the attack, according to Vitaly Kim, head of the Mykolaiv Regional Military Administration.
In a speech on the occasion of the Day of the Russian Navy in Saint Petersburg, Putin did not mention the Russian war in Ukraine, but said that “the current situation of his country requires very decisive measures.”
“We will provide protection resolutely by all means. The key here is the capabilities of the navy, which is able to respond with lightning speed to anyone who decides to infringe on our sovereignty and freedom,” Putin said.
Accusations of war crimes
Separately, at least three people were killed and eight wounded in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to the Donetsk Military and Civil Administration, which said the region’s villages were targeted by artillery, Russian Grad rockets and Uragan missiles.
The administration said that “11 private residential buildings, a high-rise building, a police station, a market and a canteen were destroyed and three fields were burnt.”
Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian forces were attacking the front lines in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“Everything is being organized. Full support and full assistance – logistical and payments,” he said in his nightly speech. “We only need a decision from the people themselves, who have not yet made it for themselves.”
The UK ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, said the strike was part of a pattern of “the worst kind of human rights violations” on Twitter on Saturday. “Olinevka needs to be investigated,” the ambassador wrote on Twitter. “It appears to be part of an increasingly worrying pattern of the worst kinds of human rights violations and possible war crimes being committed with impunity in occupied eastern Ukraine.”
Zelensky said the attack was a “deliberate war crime 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.