Hundreds of Russian mercenaries were reportedly killed in an artillery attack by Ukraine.
Footage appears to show a munitions dump burning after allegedly being hit – only one survivor reportedly reported.
According to reports, private soldiers from the notorious Russian Wagner Group used the sports arena as a base in Kadiivka in eastern Ukraine.
It is claimed that up to 300 mercenaries were killed in the attack, in what would be one of the greatest loss of life since the war began in February.
Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk province, said Ukrainian troops shelled the mercenaries’ headquarters.
He said: “The armed forces of Ukraine launched a targeted attack on it. Only one occupier survived.”
Images shared on social media appear to show the site was completely burned out after the strike.
Rescue workers in orange helmets search the rubble.
Putin’s notorious Wagner group is believed to have been operating in secret in Ukraine since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
The Russians have reportedly occupied the sports facility since they first invaded Ukraine in 2014.
Before launching their full-scale invasion in February, the Kremlin had supported pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass region for years.
Considered Putin’s private army, the Wagner Group has operated worldwide to tacitly support Russian activities in the Middle East and Africa.
Putin is believed to have used the group to plausibly deny himself as they are not explicitly affiliated with the Kremlin.
However, it is widely believed that the 8,000-strong mercenary force is acting with the full consent of the Russian state.
The group is accused of killing children, raping and torturing women and carrying out brutal executions.
Wagner mercenaries are often retired Russian soldiers and reportedly earn up to £2,000 a month.
The group first performed in Ukraine in 2014, where they played a key role in Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.
And they have neo-Nazi roots, with the name even coming from Hitler’s favorite composer, Richard Wagner.
It is believed to have been founded by former Russian special forces commando Dmitry Valerievich Utkin.
Utkin has tattoos honoring Adolf Hitler’s evil secret police, the SS, and the eagle symbol of the Third Reich.
However, the group is believed to have been very ineffective in Ukraine’s recent offensive – just like the rest of Putin’s clumsy soldiers.
The investigative organization Bellingcat has claimed that nearly 3,000 Wagner mercenaries – nearly 40 percent of their entire force – have died in Ukraine.
It is estimated that after just over 100 days of war, Russia lost more than 30,000 men in one of the greatest military disasters in modern times.
Ukraine is building solid defenses against Russia’s massive military, but their casualties are nearly mounting as they attempt to push back Putin’s men.
It is estimated that between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are killed at the front every day.
Presidential Advisor Mykhaylo Podolyak said: “Russian forces have thrown pretty much everything non-nuclear on the front lines, including heavy artillery, multiple rocket launch systems and aviation.”
And he called on the West to send more weapons to Ukraine because there was “a complete lack of parity” between the two armies.
Western nations have sent arms and vehicles to Ukraine to help them fight back against Russia.
But fears remain that should the West interfere too much, it could be drawn into open war with Moscow.
And such a conflict could spiral out of control and lead to World War III and possibly a nuclear exchange.
Britain has been one of Ukraine’s biggest supporters, and today Defense Secretary Ben Wallace met with Hero President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“Words become deeds. This is the difference between Ukraine’s relationship with Britain and other countries,” said Zelenskyy.
“Arms, finance, sanctions – on these three issues Britain is showing leadership.”
Wallace hailed Ukraine’s “extraordinary” efforts to repel the attack, praising both Zelenskyy’s leadership and the resilience of the Ukrainian people.
However, his visit has the background to a major diplomatic conflict between Britain and Russia over the captured British soldiers Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner.
International anger was sparked after a pro-Russia mock trial sentenced both men to death for a so-called “war crime”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to do “everything in their power” to secure the release of Pinner and Aslin.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Britain Vadym Prystaiko proposed negotiations on a possible exchange of prisoners with Moscow.
A relative of Mr Aslin urged Britain and Ukraine to “do everything in their power to ensure they return to us safely and soon”.
They said Mr Aslin, 28, and Mr Pinner, 48, are “not and never have been mercenaries” and should be treated as prisoners of war as they fought as part of the Ukrainian army.
The men were found guilty of violent seizures of power in a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister was appalled by the conviction of these men.
“He has been following the case closely and has asked ministers to do everything in their power to try to reunite them with their families as soon as possible.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the fake sentencing of these men to death. There is no justification whatsoever for this breach of their protection.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5536305/russian-mercenaries-ammo-dump-blitz/ Hundreds of Russian mercenaries incinerated in Ukrainian blitz on ammunition depots in latest strike against Putin, reports say