Scores of Russian casualties, dead and injured, are the result of Sunday’s attacks of Ukrainian troops on barracks in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, Ukrainian officials claim whereas Russia conceded a handful of casualties.
Witnesses say that more than 10 explosions were heard although the Russian anti-aircraft systems may have provoked some of them, Ukrainian sources note.
As videos of the southern Ukrainian city posted on social media show, what was claimed to be Russian barracks were engulfed in a fierce blaze while rescue workers searched the ruins with several bodies being visible.
The barracks were situated in Hunter’s Halt, a former resort and hotel complex next to a church in the city, and were allegedly used by the Wagner mercenary group.
Another video showed that most of the casualties were apparently in a mess hall when it was hit reportedly with Himars rockets.
Though Reuters could not independently verify the reports – both of the attacks or deaths – the pro-Moscow authorities in Melitopol claimed that two people were killed and another 10 were injured during the attack, which was one of several overnight on Russian bases.
Reports also detailed overnight explosions in the Russian-occupied Crimea, including Sevastopol and Simferopol.
Previously on Saturday night, Ukrainian forces had attacked a hotel in the town of Kadiivka – west of Luhansk – which was allegedly hosting members of Russia’s private Wagner military group, killing many of them.
According to the governor of the Russian-occupied Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaidai, Ukrainian forces launched the strike that, according to photos posted on Telegram channels, reduced the building where Wagner’s headquarters was located to rubble.
In another attack on Sunday – the latest massive rocket and artillery attack by the Ukrainian forces- at least five civilians, including two children – a three-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy – were injured when the projectiles struck dozens of apartment blocks in Donetsk, as reported by the local Joint Center on Control and Coordination (JCCC).
According to the JCCC, Ukrainian forces used Soviet BM-21 ‘Grad’ multiple rocket launchers and 155mm artillery systems to fire over 170 projectiles at the city and surrounding areas, hitting a public nursery, a kindergarten facility as well as a children’s hospital in Donetsk, among other places.