Russian backed separatists in eastern Ukraine have said a “powerful” car bomb blew up near to a government building.
Russian state-owned news agency, Ria Novosti wrote on Twitter, “There is a powerful explosion in the center of Donetsk, our correspondent reports.
“It thundered a few tens of meters from the building of the government of the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic].”
The DPR said at around 7pm local time a car was blown up neat to the government building and the blast was heard throughout Donetsk.
The DPR said, “The Ministry of Emergency Situations went to the place of the explosion. We ask you to remain calm, be vigilant, and also exclude movement around the city as much as possible.”
Interfax news agency has reported that the “Self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia head Sinenkov says he was uninjured in vehicle explosion near administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine”.
Air raid sirens going off in Donetsk today right after separatist leaders announced mass evacuations from their territory. pic.twitter.com/cjtDZ9TN3Y
— Woofers (@NotWoofers) February 18, 2022
The self-proclaimed DPR leader, Denis Pushilin says he believes “war is going to break out” in “the eastern conflict zone in Ukraine,” News Outlet reported via the Russian RIA Novosti agency.
The Ukraine Ministry of Defence has said Russian special services have laid a “number” of mines in Donetsk.
The Ministry said, “Ukraine’s military intelligence has information that Russian special services have mined a number of social infrastructure facilities in Donetsk in order to further undermine them.
“These measures are aimed at destabilizing the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of our state and create grounds for accusing Ukraine of terrorist attacks.
“The Public Relations Service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine urges Donetsk residents not to leave their homes and not to use public transport.”
Air raid sirens blared on Friday after the evacuation was announced, which saw queues of cars and buses stretched for miles from Donetsk to the border checkpoint in Russia through to the early hours of Saturday morning.
Pushlin told local residents on Friday that there is “an increase in weapons near our territory,” and said women, children and the vulnerable are to be given priority to evacuate.