MYKOLAIV - The southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv came under intense shelling in the early morning hours on Sunday, according to officials there, as Russian President Vladimir Putin used his nation’s Navy Day to issue more militaristic threats to anyone undermining Russia’s “sovereignty and freedom.”

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said cluster munitions were blowing out windows and destroying balconies. “Mykolaiv was under mass shelling on Sunday. Probably the strongest one of all time,” he said in a statement.

A CNN team on the ground heard the explosions caused by the strikes and saw fires that broke out in the shelling. Residents interviewed by CNN also said it was the heaviest shelling in the city since the start of the war. At least one person was killed and two injured in the attack, according to Vitalii Kim, head of Mykolaiv regional military administration.

In a speech commemorating Russia’s Navy Day in Saint Petersburg, Putin did not make any mention of Russia’s war in Ukraine, but said his country’s “current situation is demanding very decisive actions.”

“We will provide protection firmly and by all means. The key here is the capabilities of the Navy, which is able to respond with lightning speed to anyone who decides to encroach on our sovereignty and freedom,” Putin said. Putin said delivery of the country’s Zircon hypersonic cruise missile systems would begin in the coming months. Russia said in May that it successfully tested the Zircon missile over a distance of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

Separately, at least three people were killed and eight injured in fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to the Donetsk military-civilian administration, which said villages in the region were targeted by artillery, Russian Grad missiles and Uragan rockets. “11 private residential buildings and a high-rise building, a police station, a market, a canteen were damaged, and three fields were burned,” the administration said. The Ukraine General Staff said Russian forces were attacking the front lines in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

| Putin issues more militaristic threats to anyone undermining Russia’s ‘sovereignty and freedom’