- Paul Kirby
- BBC News
A former Russian deputy prime minister has reportedly been injured after a hotel was bombed in a Russian-controlled region of eastern Ukraine.
Dmitry Rogozin, who was also leading the Russian Space Agency, said he was hit in the shoulder bone.
Another person was said to have been killed in the attack on the outskirts of Donetsk city.
Vitaly Khotsenko, who heads the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic, was also injured.
Rogozin is widely known for his anti-Western rhetoric and support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He was sacked as head of the Roscosmos space agency in the summer, after suggestions that the Kremlin would give him a major role in Russian-occupied regions of eastern Ukraine.
Instead, he appears to lead a volunteer unit called the Tsar’s Wolves that provides support to pro-Russian forces in the east.
Rogozin is 59 years old. He denied reports that he was celebrating his birthday at the local Sheesh-Bish hotel, adding that someone had leaked details of where he was before the attack.
He wrote on social media Thursday, saying: “It was a work meeting with a close circle of colleagues after returning from one of the volunteer units. We have been staying in this hotel all these months, and in eight years the enemy has not bombed this place.”
An aide told Russian media that the hotel was targeted by precision-guided munitions, possibly fired by French-made howitzers.
Donetsk has been under the control of pro-Russian authorities since 2014, and it repeatedly accuses Ukrainian forces of targeting the city.
Although Russian forces have captured areas of Donetsk to the south since the invasion began in February, they have struggled to push the Ukrainian army back from the outskirts of the city itself.