- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2023

Russian military commanders are likely concerned about more than a dozen explosions reported in the past week around Russian-occupied Mariupol, a crucial Ukrainian port city on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, British military officials said Tuesday.

Targets struck have included an ammunition cache at the airport and two fuel dumps. A steelworks that Russia uses as a critical military base in the region also was the site of an explosion.

The Kremlin “had probably previously assessed [Mariupol] as beyond the range of routine Ukrainian strike capabilities,” British officials said in a Twitter post.

Ukrainian officials have yet to claim responsibility for the attacks.

Mariupol, which is about 50 miles from the front line of the fighting, was widely devastated in the early stages of the war. The U.N. reported that as much as 90% of the residential buildings were damaged or destroyed in the fierce fighting.

Russia has occupied Mariupol since May.

Mariupol is important to the Kremlin because it is the largest Ukrainian city under its control and sits on a key logistics route, British officials said.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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