A former Russian Deputy Prime Minister says he was wounded when shelling at a hotel in an area controlled by Russia in eastern Ukraine.
Dmitry Rogozin, who once also headed the Russian Space Agency, said on Thursday that he was hit by shrapnel over his shoulder blade when the attack on the building on the outskirts of Donetsk took place the previous day.
The 59-year-old, a staunch supporter of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, claimed in a post on his Telegram channel that he would need surgery following the incident.
“We’ve lived in this hotel for the last few months, and for eight years, the enemy has never shot at this place. Someone leaked information, and around 7:45 PM, there were several high-precision hits, including at the location where we were right there,” Rogozin said.
Rogozin was reportedly involved in a team of military advisers in recent months that supported pro-Russian forces fighting alongside Moscow troops in eastern Ukraine.
city of Donetsk, the capital of the entire Donetsk region, has been controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists since 2014, who have repeatedly accused the Ukrainian armed forces of shelling the city center.
According to Russian media reports, Vitaly Khotsenko, the Moscow-appointed head of government of the self-proclaimed, renegade Donetsk People’s Republic, was also wounded in the shelling on Wednesday.
Denis Pushilin, the Russian-appointed administrator of the Moscow-controlled part of Donetsk, was quoted by the Russian news agency RIA as saying that two other people, in addition to Rogozin and Khotsenko, were killed in the attack.
In addition to Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhia, Donetsk is one of four partially occupied regions that Moscow unilaterally annexed in September.
Together, Luhansk and Donetsk form the industrial Donbas region of eastern Ukraine — the scene of the latest bitter fighting between Moscow’s armed forces and Ukrainian troops.