Two people, including a child, died in an explosion on a beach in the port city of Mariupol on the Black Sea
An explosion rocked a public beach in the city of Mariupol, the territorial defense authority of the Donetsk People’s Republic said in a statement on Friday. The explosion reportedly claimed the lives of two civilians, including a child.
According to Russian media, some witnesses heard a loud explosion and saw a plume of water 30 meters high rising above the beach at the time of the explosion. Donetsk People’s Republic authorities described the source of the explosion only as “an explosive object”.
According to the media, the victims could have been near a floating naval mine which exploded after hitting an object not far from the shore. The city’s public beach is located close to the Azovstal Steelworks – the facility that for weeks had remained the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces and the neo-Nazi Azov Regiment at a time when the rest of the city had already been liberated by the Donbass. republican militias and Russian forces.
Ukrainian forces entrenched in Azovstal surrendered to Russian troops in late May. Russian forces have been clearing areas liberated from Ukrainian troops for weeks. On May 26, the head of the Russian National Defense Operations Center, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, said that Russian troops had completed demining the port of the city of Mariupol and had inspected more than 50 kilometers of the coastline of the Sea of Azov.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry also said its specialists defused more than 24,000 “explosive objects” on the territories of the Donbass republics since the beginning of the Russian military operation at the end of February. Mariupol is located south of the territory that Russia considers to belong to the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Russia had earlier repeatedly accused Ukraine of massively exploiting Black Sea ports and water areas near its territory.
According to Moscow, such actions have posed a threat to civilian shipping and affected world trade, including Ukrainian grain, which has become a hot topic recently amid fears of a global food crisis.
Russia attacked Ukraine after kyiv’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The Minsk Protocol, brokered by Germany and France, was designed to give breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.
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