12 explosions heard in Mariupol, two hits recorded

22 February, 12:09 PM
Mariupol destroyed by invaders (Photo:Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Mariupol destroyed by invaders (Photo:Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

A series of explosions rang out in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol, with reports of two hits within the city, the city council reported on Telegram on Feb. 22.

“Mariupol. Explosions are heard,” the city council said in its post.

“So far, 11 explosions are recorded in the Russia-occupied city. There is preliminary information about two hits — in the area of AS-2 (Central district) and Stan-3000 (Kalmius district). Probably in places where enemy forces are concentrated.”

Later reports updated the number of explosions to 12.

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Mariupol is beyond the range of Ukraine’s HIMARS system, and there was speculation in Russian and Ukrainian social media that a new type of long range weapon had been used by Ukrainian forces.

City Hall reported that the first explosion in Mariupol occurred at 10:33 p.m. It said that after the explosions, there were problems with power and communications in the Central and Left Bank districts of the city.

Later, mayor’s advisor Petro Andriushchenko reported that a Russian ammunition warehouse in the vicinity of the city’s airport and a Russian military base in the Illich Iron and Steel works had been hit. There were reports of secondary explosions, while some of the other explosions may have been the operation of Russian air defenses.

Andriushchenko reported another explosion in the city on the morning of Feb. 22, with locals saying on social media that the blast “set off car alarms” and “shook the curtains.”

Mariupol lies more than 70 kilometers from the front line, at the very limit of the range of Ukraine’s HIMARS rockets. There was speculation on Russian and Ukrainian social media that the weapon used may have been the Ground-launched Small Diameter Bomb or GLSDB.

The United States earlier said it would provide GLSDBs to Ukraine, but it was not expected they would be available for use by Ukraine until June. The weapons have arange more than double that of HIMARS, at about 150 kilometers.

Other Russian sources later said that the weapon used may have been Ukraine’s Vilkha-M heavy multiple launch rocket system (based on the Soviet Smerch system)which is reported to have a range of 130 kilometers.

Like HIMARS, Vilkha fires guided rockets, but guidance is independent of the GPS satellite navigation system.

The Ukrainian authorities have not commented on the reported attacks on Mariupol.

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