Ivan Fedorov, the elected mayor of the currently occupied city of Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, reported that Russian forces “staged a terrorist attack in a crowded place in order to accuse the Ukrainian authorities of terror before the sham referendum” on the region’s accession to Russia.
The reports on an explosion in central Melitopol started circulating about 10:20 EEST on 22 September.
“An explosion rocked the area of the central market. According to preliminary information, a store selling military uniforms at #3, Sverdlova St was blown up… According to eyewitnesses, two people are lying at the scene. The circumstances of the event are being clarified,” one of the reports reads.
Melitopol Mayor Fedorov claimed that “in the Central Market of Melitopol, the place where there always is a large crowd of people, the Rashists (“Russian fascists,” – Ed.) carried out an explosion and eliminated three [of their] soldiers. We are clarifying information about civilians.”
Later the mayor stated that in total the allegedly Russian attack injured six Russian soldiers including those who died.
It isn’t known about the civilian casualties of the explosion at the moment. Despite the Melitopol mayor’s claims, the casualties among the Russian military may indicate that the blast could have been a case of the careless handling of explosives, infighting between Russian units, or partisan underground activities.