Ukrainian raids hit Russian barracks in occupied Melitopol

The compound reportedly hit by the Himars rocket may be a stronghold of the Wagner mercenary group fighting for the Kremlin

Ukraine has attacked a barracks in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol with several Ukrainian sources claiming Russian casualties.

According to witnesses, 10 explosions were heard, although some of them may have come from the Russian anti-aircraft systems. Ukrainian officials claim dozens of Russians were killed and injured while Russia acknowledges some of the casualties.

Video footage posted on social media shows what is claimed to be a Russian barracks in the southern town engulfed in a devastating fire with some claiming the site is being used by a group of Wagner mercenaries.

Another video shows rescue workers in the rubble with several bodies visible. The site, a former resort and hotel complex next to a church in the town known as Hunter's Halt, was used as a barracks with most of the victims apparently falling apart. hall when hit.

The attack on Melitopol – reportedly with a Himars rocket – was one of several overnight attacks on the Russian base. Explosions were also reported overnight in Russian-occupied Crimea including Sevastopol and Simferopol. The attack on Melitopol came as all non-critical infrastructure in the Ukrainian port of Odesa was without power after Russia used Iranian-made drones on Saturday to hit two energy facilities. causing 1.5 million people to be cut off from power.

"The situation in the Odesa region is very difficult," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his evening video address.

“Unfortunately, the hit was critical, so it will take more than just time to restore the power… Unfortunately, it won't take hours, but several days.”

In Melitopol, pro-Moscow authorities said a missile attack late on Saturday killed two people and injured 10 others, while the Ukrainian mayor-in-exile said dozens of "invaders" were killed.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports of attacks or deaths. "The air defense system destroyed two missiles, four hit their targets," Yevgeny Balitsky, Moscow-appointed governor of the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, said via messaging app Telegram. .

He said a "recreation center" where people were eating was destroyed in a Ukrainian attack with a Himars missile.

The exiled mayor, Ivan Fedorov, said on his Telegram channel that the attack hit a church the Russians had converted into a gathering place.

Vladimir Rogov, another posted official in Moscow in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia, said the fire caused by the attack engulfed the recreation centre. He posted a video of the burning building.

Multiple Himars rocket launchers have been one of Ukraine's most effective weapons in the war, delivering precision fire on hundreds of targets, including Russian command posts. On Friday, the United States said it would send more aid to Kyiv to strengthen its air defenses and defeat drones.

The city of Melitopol is seen as the next major destination for Ukrainian troops in the south of the country since Ukraine recaptured the major city of Kherson.

With Ukrainian troops now operating on the east bank of the Dnieper River, across from Kherson, and with their troops now able to deploy a Himars rocket system on the west bank, Russian forces in the city are increasingly under threat.

Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Melitopol, a major industrial and transport hub occupied by Russia since March, was key to the south.

"All logistics connecting Russian troops in the eastern part of the Kherson region and up to the Russian border near Mariupol are carried out through it," Arestovych said in a video interview on social media.

“If Melitopol falls, the entire [Russian] defense line up to Kherson will collapse. Ukrainian troops get a direct route to Crimea.”

There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainian army on the attack. Earlier in the day, the central command of the Ukrainian armed forces said it had carried out an attack on Melitopol.

Posting Komentar

Lebih baru Lebih lama

Formulir Kontak