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Russia Says Targeted French Mercenaries in Ukraine Strike

The Russian Defense Ministry headquarters in central Moscow. РБК / TASS

Russia said Wednesday it had targeted a group of French fighters in a long-range strike on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, an attack authorities said injured several civilians.

Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city lying close to the Russian border, has been under persistent shelling since Russia launched large-scale hostilities in Ukraine in February 2022.

"On the evening of 16 January, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation carried out a precision strike on a temporary deployment point of foreign militants in the city of Kharkiv, the core of which were French mercenaries," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry claimed to have killed dozens of foreign militants in the attack and injured many more but did not provide evidence.

After the strikes, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syniehubov said that some residential buildings were destroyed, adding that there were no military targets in the area.

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