Report: Mistake Exposes Mercenaries to Attack

Russian journalist reportedly included address marker for headquarters in photo
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2022 4:07 PM CDT
Ukraine Credits Online Post After Hitting Mercenaries
Ukrainian servicemen ride in a tank on a street in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(Newser) – A careless posting on social media led Ukrainian forces to the headquarters of mercenaries linked to Russia, officials in eastern Ukraine said. The governor of Luhansk said the location of the secret headquarters of the Wagner paramilitary group was betrayed by a photo posted by a Russian journalist that displayed an address, the BBC reports. The photo, which has been taken down, showed five people in military uniform and a street sign in Popasna, Luhansk, in a top corner. Ukrainian artillery later hit the headquarters. There hasn't been independent confirmation that the post gave away the location.

The Wagner Group officially is a private contractor, and the Kremlin doesn't confirm a connection. Members reportedly have been sent to Kyiv to carry out assassinations of officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky. Western officials say the Wagner Group has been accused of committing human rights abuses and war crimes. The governor posted on Telegram that the strike destroyed the headquarters and that the number killed was not yet known, per the BBC. The US has supplied Ukraine with HIMARS rocket systems. A Ukrainian lawmaker posted on Facebook: "There is no more Wagner HQ in Popasna. Thank you, Himars and the Armed Forces of Ukraine!" (Read more Russia-Ukraine conflict stories.)

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