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22 Dec, 2022 00:38

Ex-Russian space boss wounded in ‘targeted’ Ukrainian attack

NATO-supplied artillery was reportedly used in a deadly strike on a hotel in Donetsk
Ex-Russian space boss wounded in ‘targeted’ Ukrainian attack

One person has died and several were wounded after three projectiles struck a hotel on the south side of Donetsk on Wednesday evening. Among the wounded were former Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin and Deputy Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Vitaly Khotsenko.

“I was wounded in the back. Will survive. Shrapnel got within a centimeter from the spine,” Rogozin told RT from the hospital. “I will stay in Donetsk with my wounded comrades.”

The shelling targeted a hotel on the outskirts of Donetsk city, where the former chief of the Russian space program was celebrating his birthday. He was staying there with several colleagues from the ‘Tsar Wolves’, a military advisory group he founded recently. 

Russian parliamentarian Aleksey Zhuravlev, who was also at the hotel, told TASS that three rounds deliberately targeted the building. According to Rogozin, Ukrainian artillery had not bombarded the area previously.

Rogozin headed Roscosmos from 2018 to July 2022. Prior to that, he was in charge of the Russian defense industry, and was Moscow’s envoy to NATO from 2008 to 2011. The group he founded was named after Russian volunteer units that took part in the Yugoslav conflict of the 1990s. 

One of Rogozin’s aides told TASS that the strike was probably a targeted assassination and that local specialists have concluded the culprit was the “155-millimeter self-propelled artillery system Caesar, developed and produced by the French company Nexter.”

France has sent 18 Caesars to Ukraine, nearly a quarter of its total complement of 76, according to publicly available information. Ukrainian forces entrenched west of Donetsk have ramped up their bombardment of the city with NATO-supplied weapons over the past week, causing many civilian casualties.