Ukrainian forces hits Wagner military headquarters in Luhansk
The governor-in-exile of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine says Ukrainian forces have attacked the headquarters of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group.
The attack on the “Wagner Headquarters” in the east came amid further fighting in southern Ukraine.
On Saturday, the Ukrainian military said it had shot down 10 drones, as well as hitting five more energy facilities in the port city of Odessa – leaving some 1.5 million people without power.
Serhiy Haidai said the hotel where the group met in Kadiivka in Luhansk had suffered major damage.
Fighting also broke out in southern Ukraine over the weekend, with Russia hitting Odessa and Ukraine bombing a target in the occupied city of Melitopol.
Wagner is a state-sponsored mercenary who, according to Western experts, works in the interests of the Kremlin.
The private military company founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a former restaurant owner and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been repeatedly accused of war crimes and human rights abuses.
The BBC was unable to independently confirm Wagner’s presence at the hotel.
Wagner units have previously been deployed to Crimea, Syria, Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic.
Haidai said that Russia had suffered “significant losses” in the Kadievka attack and that he expected “at least 50%” of the surviving forces to die due to lack of medical treatment.
During a phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, US President Joe Biden said Washington is prioritizing efforts to help boost Ukraine’s air defense systems.
The White House said the pair also talked about Mr Zelensky’s desire for peace with Russia “based on the fundamental principles enshrined in the UN Charter”.
The proposed measures would target Iran over the supply of drones to Russia, while Russia’s ninth package of sanctions would add around 200 more individuals to the EU’s sanctions list.
“The situation in the Odessa region is very difficult,” President Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “Unfortunately the hits were severe, so restoring power took more than just time. It took days, not hours.”
According to Ukrainian officials, major infrastructure damage was caused by Russia’s Iran-made drones.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due to host an online meeting of G7 leaders on Monday, where further sanctions on Russia and Iran will be discussed.
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