Ukraine strikes hotel housing dozens of Russian soldiers
FILE – During a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense, Russian soldiers stand guard as foreign journalists visit a grain elevator in Melitopol, southern Ukraine, Thursday, July 14, 2022. (AP Photo, File)
Ukraine’s military struck a hotel complex housing dozens of Russian soldiers in the occupied city of Melitopol on Saturday night, reportedly using long-range artillery supplied by the United States.
Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Melitopol, said in a Telegram post that the hotel complex was housing up to 200-300 Russian soldiers, adding that dozens of them were killed or wounded in the attack.
Russian authorities said that at least two people were killed and ten were wounded in the attacks, Radio Free Europe reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the target in Melitopol was about 50 miles from the Sea of Azov, just within the range of U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket systems.
Footage of the burning hotel showed dead and wounded Russian soldiers among the wreckage, per the Journal.
According to Radio Free Europe, Ukrainian forces targeted the Russian-controlled city on Saturday night, with several of the missiles hitting hotels and restaurants on the outskirts of the city.
Fedorov added in his Telegram post that wounded soldiers were taken to medical facilities in nearby Crimea due to low space in the city’s hospitals, adding that some ambulances were converted into morgues.
In the recent months, Russian forces have focused their missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, resulting in scattered power outages across the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than a million people in the Odesa region were cut off from electricity due to Russian strikes on Saturday.
The U.S. announced plans to provide $53 million to Ukraine last week to help restore the country’s energy infrastructure.