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Former Russian Space Chief Wounded in Ukraine Shelling

Dmitry Rogozin

Updates with comments from Ukraine's Border Guard Service

Russia’s former space chief Dmitry Rogozin on Thursday said that he and several others had been wounded by shelling in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday evening.

Rogozin, a nationalist politician and avid war supporter who appears to have been celebrating his birthday when the attack happened, said “someone leaked information” about his whereabouts.

“Several high-precision hits occurred around 19:45, including the exact place we were in,” Rogozin said in a post on his Telegram channel.

“A 3x4 mm metal splinter entered my right shoulder blade,” he wrote, adding that he was expected to undergo surgery.

Rogozin’s aide told state media that the former Roscosmos chief had been hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, though he later said that doctors had been unable to remove the shrapnel from his wound.

					The Shesh-Besh cafe in Donetsk, where Rogozin was allegedly wounded.	
The Shesh-Besh cafe in Donetsk, where Rogozin was allegedly wounded.

Two people were killed in the attack, according to the head of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Denis Pushilin, who also said that the deputy head of the DNR government, Vitaly Khotsenko, was also wounded in the attack.

Ukraine's Border Guard Service confirmed that the restaurant had been targeted in by the Ukrainian military and said that the attack served as a penalty notice to Rogozin for illegally entering Ukrainian territory, independent Russian media outlet The Insider reported on Thursday.

"The border guards were not personally able to hand the charge to the perpetrator, so the person in question received it during his birthday celebrations," the Border Guard Service said.

"The border service urges Russians not to violate Ukrainian law, as they will be held responsible." 

					The Shesh-Besh cafe in Donetsk where Rogozin was allegedly wounded.	
The Shesh-Besh cafe in Donetsk where Rogozin was allegedly wounded.

Rogozin, who had previously also served as Putin’s deputy prime minister and envoy to NATO, was replaced as head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos in July.

Russian media reported as late as this fall that Putin could appoint Rogozin as his envoy to four partially Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions and annexed Crimea. The Kremlin declined to disclose its plans for Rogozin at the time.

The state-run TASS news agency identified Rogozin’s current role as the head of a group of military advisers dubbed “Tsar’s Wolves.”

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