Up to 200 Russian servicemen were killed and wounded in explosions and fires caused by Ukrainian strikes on Russia-occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, reported Ukrainian mayor Ivan Fedorov. According to him, the fires occurred at the bases of Russian troops in various parts of the city. Fedorov himself is not in Melitopol and does not refer to any sources. According to the mayor, there are so many injured Russians that ambulances from the annexed Crimea had to be brought in to transport them.
There have been no official statements by the Ukrainian General Staff about the strikes on Melitopol yet. Meanwhile, the "head" of the Russia occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, Yevhen Balitsky, appointed by Russia, confirmed the strike on Melitopol. According to him, a recreation center, "where people, civilians, the staff worked on Saturday evening, had dinner" was struck by Ukraine. He reported two dead and ten injured. The recreation center was destroyed. Ukrainian media, commenting on this statement, writes that the Russian military command often uses recreation centers and hotels in the occupied territories to accommodate its military personnel.
The representative of the Russia-installed administration of the Zaporizhzhia region, Vladimir Rogov, said that the hotel complex "the Hunter's Halt" in Melitopol was stuck by Ukrainian HIMARS missile systems. According to him, two Ukrainian missiles were shot down, the rest reached the target, RIA Novosti quoted Rogov's statement.
According to the news outlet RIA Melitopol, the base of the Kadyrov fighters in Melitopol was destroyed in Ukrainian strikes. Among those killed most likely was the "overseer" of the region appointed by Ramzan Kadyrov.
According to RIA Melitopol, the top command of the Kadyrov forces was based at the hotel complex.
"It is known for certain that Russian occupiers lived at the recreation hotel complex "the Hunter’s Halt". There, they had fun, ate in the restaurant, and relaxed in the sauna. Obviously, no one would allow ordinary soldiers to live in such luxurious conditions, which means that as a result of the night strike, one can expect losses among the "top commanders" of the occupation units in Melitopol. According to preliminary information, Kadyrov's men stationed in Melitopol suffered the greatest losses in the strike on “the Hunters Halt”. It is reported that it is very likely that their leader, "overseeing Melitopol", Murad Saidov, could have been eliminated, " the news outlet notes.
Melitopol is located a few dozen kilometers from the front line.
On December 7, it was reported that an attempt was made on the Russia-appointed "deputy head" of Melitopol, Mykola Volyk. The news outlet Baza, referring to the Russian investigators, reported that an explosive device filled with shrapnel was installed on a lamp post near the entrance to the house where Volyk lives. According to preliminary data, the power of explosives was 2.5 kg in TNT equivalent.