Massive blast rocks Azovstal area in Mariupol, ambulances dispatched — Andriushchenko

The Russian occupiers sent an ambulance to the scene of the explosion

He said the occupied city had also witnessed the operation of Russian military air defense systems.

“The operation of the air defense systems was observed directly from the residential area on the right bank of the Kalmius River, opposite Azovstal. That’s just the beginning,” Andriushchenko said.

Following the explosion, ambulances were promptly dispatched to the affected area, he said.

Read also: Russia offers to evacuate civilians in Mariupol, city council says

A series of explosions have been reported behind Russian lines in occupied parts of Ukraine over the past few days. Notably, the town of Berdyansk, on the cost to the south-east of Mariupol, saw some six explosions hit the town’s port area, and air defenses were active.

There has been speculation that the town may have been hit with Storm Shadow cruise missiles and Tochka-U ballistic missiles, but the occupation authorities have not confirmed this.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian occupiers have relentlessly shelled Mariupol. The city had been under blockade from March 1 until May 20. On May 20, the garrison defending Azovstal received orders to cease defense after successfully repelling an offensive by a group of 20,000 Russian troops.

Read also: Invaders evacuate their dead and wounded from Mariupol throughout the night, says mayor’s advisor

The devastation inflicted upon Mariupol is immense, with the city being 95% destroyed, according to Ukrainian authorities. The full restoration of the city is estimated to take approximately 20 years. The number of casualties resulting from Russian aggression in Mariupol could potentially reach tens of thousands.

Amid reports of an imminent counter-offensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russian forces are bolstering their presence in Mariupol.

City authorities have declared that Russian invaders are preparing for a significant battle to maintain control over the occupied city.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine