Ukraine’s military demolished a hotel complex housing dozens of Russian military personnel in the occupied city of Melitopol on Saturday night with US-supplied long-range artillery, a report said.
The visuals of the Ukrainian artillery attack against the hotel in the Russian occupied city of Melitopol showed burning buildings as well as dead and wounded Russian soldiers among the wreckage, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Both the Russian and Ukrainian sides said that there were dozens of casualties but the figures differed.Melitopol exiled Mayor Ivan Fedorov, wrote on his Telegram channel that as many as 200 Russian troops were “roasted” in the strike in the hotel complex and many others were wounded.
Fedorov added that the 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.However, the Russian-installed governor of the region said dozens were wounded and at least two killed.
The report said that the target in Melitopol was about 50 miles from the Sea of Azov, within the range of US-supplied Himars rocket systems.The HIMARS systems supplied by the US and similar M270s from Britain have significantly bolstered the Ukrainian militarys precision-strike capability.
The HIMARS and M270 have a longer range, a much better precision and a faster rate of fire compared with Soviet-designed Smerch, Uragan and Tornado multiple rocket launchers used by both Russia and Ukraine.
The truck-mounted HIMARS launchers fire GPS-guided missiles capable of hitting targets up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) away, a distance that puts them out of reach of most Russian artillery systems. The mobile launchers are hard for the enemy to spot and can quickly change position after firing to escape airstrikes.
The Ukrainian military so far has received a dozen HIMARS and several M270 systems, but it already has used them to successfully target Russian ammunition and fuel depots in eastern Ukraine, essential for supporting Moscow’s offensive.Meanwhile, Russian drone strikes continued to destroy Ukraine’s electricity grid.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that more than 1.5 million people were left without power in the region of Odessa after Russia used Iranian drones to strike the city and surrounding territory.Air-raid sirens continued to sound in Ukraine on Sunday as Russia launched more strikes.
In Kherson, two people were killed and another five wounded after Russian troops shelled the southern Ukrainian region, the governor said on Sunday. The city of Kherson was in November recaptured by Ukrainian forces during a Kyiv counter-offensive.