The former head of the Russian Space Agency was injured in a Ukrainian strike in Donetsk
The former head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, announced on his account on the Telegram application that he was injured in a Ukrainian strike on Donetsk, the stronghold of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and will undergo surgery.
Rogozin was sacked at the helm of Roskosmos in July and now leads a group of military advisers providing assistance to separatist forces in Ukraine.
He said he was hit in the back and that a piece of the shell hit his right shoulder.
The incident took place on Wednesday night at a hotel in Donetsk where Rogozin was staying with several local officials.
The Russian Investigative Committee, the body in charge of investigating major cases, confirmed that the strike, which resulted in deaths and injuries, was carried out with "high-precision ammunition and may have been fired from a truck equipped with the French Caesar artillery system."
Rogozin confirmed that the bombing took place during a "business meeting" in the hotel restaurant, while the Russian public television channel "Russia 24" confirmed that the former head of Roscosmos was celebrating his 59th birthday on Wednesday, with guests and musicians.
The channel broadcasted pictures of upturned party tables in a restaurant hall whose windows were broken and whose walls were partially destroyed.
Rogozin said he has been staying at this hotel regularly in recent months during his trips to Donetsk as part of Russia's attack on Ukraine.
Commenting on the incident, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that "it is normal for officials to visit Russian regions."
"Unfortunately, staying in some areas still poses a danger, but this does not mean preventing officials from performing their duties," he added.
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