Two people were injured following an explosion in the Moscow-controlled city of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine, local pro-Kremlin authorities said on Monday, blaming Kyiv.
Russian troops took control of the city in the Zaporizhzhia region at the start of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, but encountered fierce resistance.
“This morning there was a terrorist attack aimed at destabilizing the peaceful life of the city,” Russian authorities in Melitopol said on Telegram.
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According to the statement, a car packed with explosives exploded in the city center, injuring two “humanitarian aid” volunteers, a 28-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man.
“The Ukrainian government continues its war against the civilian population and the infrastructure of the cities,” the statement said, adding that an investigation was underway.
Clouds of black smoke were visible in the city on Monday morning. The blast shook windows and walls of nearby buildings, Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed official in Melitopol, said on Telegram.
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In another sign that Moscow is seeking to maintain a long-term presence in parts of Ukraine controlled by its troops, Russian investigators have said they will investigate the blast.
The Russian investigative commission “will identify those involved in the commission of this crime in order to bring the perpetrators to justice,” it said in a statement.
According to his information, the explosion “organized by Ukrainian saboteurs” took place during the distribution of humanitarian aid near a residential building.
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Three people were injured, two of whom were hospitalized, investigators said.
Some reports suggest the explosion took place near the area where the Russian-installed leader of the Zaporizhzhia region, Yevgeny Balitsky, lives.
Last week, the Moscow-appointed mayor of Enerhodar, another town in the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia region, was injured in an explosion.
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