Ukrainian missiles are reported to have hit a base belonging to pro-Russian Wagner Group mercenaries in the east of the country.
One Ukrainian politician said long-range HIMARS rockets were used in the attack on the city of Popasna.
Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the country’s Minister of Internal Affairs said the location of the base had been tracked down after it featured in a Russian propoganda film.
⚡️HIMARS hit a Wagner mercenaries base in Popasna on occupied territories.
Wagner group is a private "army" of Putin, responsible for atrocities all over the world, including 🇺🇦.
It seems that the location was found out from 📷 made by 🇷🇺 propagandist. pic.twitter.com/67SrVSfnyG
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) August 14, 2022
The attack was also reported by Serhiy Hayday, Ukrainian governor of Luhansk region, and several pro-Kremlin war reporters - though the number of casualties is not clear.
Giving evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Christo Grozev, executive director of the Bellingcat investigative website, said 3,000 members of the private military company were thought to have been killed on the battlefield.
The group was initially deployed to Crimea and Ukraine’s Donbas region in 2014, when Kremlin-backed forces ousted Ukrainian troops from areas they later declared to be part of Russia.
Wagner units have also been sent to Syria, Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic.
Wagner is described as a PMC - private military company, but Western experts say they are state-sponsored mercenaries who act in the Kremlin’s interests. They have been accused of repeated war crimes and human rights abuses.
Popasna lies just south of Severodonetsk in Luhansk region, which Russian forces now entirely control, following months of bitter fighting and huge destruction.
Ukrainian forces now have several of the US Himars (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), which fire rockets capable of hitting Russian targets far behind the front lines.