Dec 11 (Reuters) – A senior official in eastern Ukraine said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had attacked a hotel where members of Russia’s private Wagner military group were based, killing many of them.
The account in a television interview by Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Russian-occupied Luhansk region, could not be verified by Reuters.
Gaidai, interviewed by Ukrainian television, said forces launched a strike on Saturday on a hotel in the town of Kadiivka, west of the region’s main centre of Luhansk. Photos posted on Telegram channels showed a building largely reduced to rubble.
“They had a little pop there, just where Wagner headquarters was located. “A huge number of those who were there died.”
Russia’s defense ministry was not immediately available for comment.
Gaidai did not give casualty figures, but he said those surviving faced inadequate medical services to treat them.
“I am sure that at least 50% of those who managed to survive will die before they get medical care,” he said. “This is because even in our Luhansk region, they have stolen equipment.”
Some Ukrainian media quoted local officials as saying the hotel had been closed for some time.
The Wagner group is a private military contractor with close ties to the Kremlin. Its forces are known to be fighting in parts of Ukraine and have also been deployed in a number of African countries.
Gaidai has previously reported strikes by Ukrainian forces on other targets in Luhansk region, including on a Wagner headquarters in the town of Popasna in August.
Reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Lisa Shumaker