The Ukrainian governor of the occupied eastern region of Luhansk on Friday claimed that some 200 elite Russian soldiers had been killed in a missile strike.
In a message posted to Telegram Serhiy Gaidai said the strike hit a hotel in the city of Kadiivka that had allegedly been housing Russian soldiers since 2014.
“In the temporarily occupied Kadiivka (Stakhanov), Luhansk region, Ukrainian soldiers destroyed a Russian army base, which they had set up in the Donbas Hotel,” he said in a message translated by Pravda. “Two hundred elite military airborne troops of the Russian Federation were killed.”
Fox News Digital could not immediately the defense ministry to confirm the strike and the event was not mentioned in the ministry’s daily operational update.
The announcement comes one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to expand Russia’s ranks by adding another 137,000 soldiers to its military, bringing its fighting force to a total of 1.15 million soldiers.
The Pentagon earlier this month said Russia had taken heavy casualties as it entered its sixth month of war in Ukraine with as many as 80,000 Russian soldiers having been injured or killed in the fighting.
Ukrainian and Russian forces remain largely stalled with Western defense officials noting that Russia has made minimal advances in recent weeks as Ukrainian troops launch counter-offenses in Kharkiv, Dontesk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – tracing the 1,500-mile-long frontline.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu this week attempted to justify Moscow’s stalled efforts as a deliberate strategy to spare civilian lives.
Though on the day his comments were made Russia launched a missile strike on a civilian train station and killed at least 25 people, including two children, and injuring another 31 people.
The U.K. defense ministry on Friday called Shoigu’s comments “deliberate misinformation” and said in its daily update that Russia’s offensive has stalled due to “poor Russian military performance and fierce Ukrainian resistance.”