The governor-in-exile of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine reports that Ukrainian forces have attacked the headquarters of the Russian Wagner mercenary group.
Serhiy Haidai stated that a hotel where the group met in Kadiivka, Luhansk, had sustained significant damage.
Not independently able to confirm Wagner’s presence at the hotel.
Russia targeted Odesa while Ukraine bombarded a target in the occupied city of Melitopol over the weekend in southern Ukraine.
According to Western experts, Wagner is state-sponsored mercenary who act in the interests of the Kremlin.
The private military company founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a former restaurateur and close associate of Vladimir Putin, has been repeatedly accused of war crimes and violations of human rights.
Wagner units have been deployed in the past to Crimea, Syria, Libya, Mali, and the Central African Republic.
Mr Haidai stated that Russia had sustained “significant losses” in the Kadiivka attack and that he expected “at least 50 per cent” of the surviving forces to perish due to a lack of medical care.
During a phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, US President Joe Biden stated that enhancing Ukraine’s air defence systems was Washington’s top priority.
Mr Zelensky’s desire for a “just peace” with Russia “based on fundamental principles enshrined in the UN Charter” was also discussed, according to the White House.
The assault on the “Wagner HQ” in the east occurred as fighting continued in southern Ukraine.
On Saturday, the Ukrainian army announced that it had shot down ten drones, while another five had struck energy facilities in the port city of Odesa, leaving approximately 1.5 million people without electricity.
In his nightly video address, President Zelensky stated, “The situation in the Odessa region is very difficult.” “Unfortunately, the damage was severe, so it will take more than time to restore power. Rather than hours, it takes several days.”
According to Ukrainian officials, Russia’s Iran-made drones have attacked vital infrastructure.
On Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will host an online meeting of G7 leaders where additional sanctions against Russia and Iran will be discussed.
The proposed measures would target Iran for supplying drones to Russia, whereas the ninth package of Russia sanctions would add nearly 200 more individuals to the EU sanctions list.
Pro-Russian authorities in Melitopol reported that a Ukrainian missile attack had killed two and injured ten. A Moscow-appointed official shared images of a massive fire.
“Air defence systems destroyed two missiles, while four reached their targets,” said Yevgeny Balitsky, the governor of the city appointed by Russia, via the Telegram messaging app.
He added that the attack had destroyed a “recreation centre” where people were dining and that Ukrainian forces had used US-supplied Himars rocket launchers.
This weapon played a crucial role in Ukraine’s counteroffensive, as it was used to target out-of-the-way locations, such as Russia’s command posts.
Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Melitopol, stated that dozens of “invaders” had been killed.
Melitopol has been occupied by Russian forces since early March and serves as a major logistics hub for the southeast.
The city is strategically located in the Zaporizhzhia region between Mariupol to the east, Kherson and the Dnieper River to the west, and Crimea to the south.
Despite the onset of winter, Ukraine maintains its efforts to reclaim occupied territory.
In recent weeks, the majority of fighting has occurred in the country’s east, specifically in and around the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
But on Saturday night, President Zelensky’s adviser Oleksiy Arestovych indicated that Melitopol could be a primary target for Ukrainian forces.
In an interview, he stated, “If Melitopol falls, the entire defence line to Kherson collapses.”
If that were to occur, he continued, “Ukrainian forces would gain a direct route to Crimea,” the peninsula Russia annexed in 2014 and which the Ukrainians have vowed to recapture.