Ukraine’s intelligence directorate said on Sunday that an explosion in the Russian-held city of Melitopol killed at least three Russian soldiers in an attack it described as “revenge” by local underground groups.
The explosion occurred during a Saturday meeting of Russian officers in the city, which is the center of Russian forces in the south, the directorate within the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
“This revenge, which was carried out by representatives of the local resistance, took place in the branches of Nova Pošta, which were seized by the Russians,” they wrote.
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Russian officials have not commented on the incident. Reuters could not verify the Ukrainian statement.
An intelligence statement said officers from the Russian National Guard and the FSB intelligence service attended the meeting on Saturday at the local military headquarters.
“At least three National Guard officers were killed in the command as a result of the explosion,” the statement said. “Information on other enemy losses is being clarified.”
In the statement, they wrote that the police gathered in the area and that they later saw a burnt-out car being dragged around the city.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in the south and east in early June, but was met with strong resistance.
The Ukrainian military has been increasingly active in attacking forces in Russian-held areas, but does not always acknowledge the attacks.
In September, Ukrainian forces launched a missile attack on the command of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia. Ukrainian media reports that Russian officers were also targeted in the attack on the occupied city of Skadovsk in the Kherson region last week.
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