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Putin Won’t Like This: Ukraine Is Trying to Kill the Wagner Group

KelTec arms headed to Ukraine. Image Credit: KelTec.

Wagner Group HQ Targeted by Ukraine: German composer Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung – the last of his cycle of four music dramas – chronicled the myth of the destruction of the gods and Valhalla in the final battle with the forces of evil.

It is doubtful that the particular music was playing at the hotel in Russian-occupied Kadiivka, Luhansk, which served as the headquarters of the Russian Wagner mercenary group on Sunday when it was targeted by the Ukrainian military.

However, it certainly would have been fitting, as the paramilitary group – which has been linked to neo-Nazis and far-right extremists – was named for the composer, who was a personal favorite of Adolf Hitler.

According to Ukrainian officials, dozens of members of the state-sponsored Wagner Group were reportedly killed in the strike – though Russia has conceded that there were just a handful of casualties.

The private military company, set up by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a former restaurateur and close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly been accused of war crimes and human rights abuses, the BBC reported.

Members of the Wagner Group had previously been deployed in Crimea, Syria, Libya, Mali, and the Central African Republic.

Russian Barracks Also Targeted

Another Wagner Group unit may have also been targeted in the occupied city of Melitopol on Sunday morning.

Videos posted to social media showed what was claimed to be a Russian barracks in the southern city as it was engulfed in a fiery blaze, while other reports suggested that the hotel/former resort building was being used by the mercenary unit.

According to witnesses at least ten explosions were heard, although it is likely some of those may have been Russian anti-aircraft guns.

The casualties were likely high, as numerous personnel had apparently been gathered in the mess hall when it was struck by rockets fired from a U.S.-made HIMARS rocket.

Explosions were also reported overnight in the Russian-occupied Crimea, including Sevastopol and Simferopol. Melitopol, in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast, has been under Russian occupation since early March – while Russia illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula in early 2014.

Russian Strikes Continue

The Ukrainian strike on Melitopol came as virtually all non-critical infrastructure in the Ukrainian port of Odesa was without power after Russia used Iranian-made drones on Saturday to hit two energy facilities. 

The attacks left 1.5 million people cut off from electricity.

“The situation in the Odesa region is very difficult,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address, adding, “Unfortunately, the hits were critical, so it takes more than just time to restore electricity … It doesn’t take hours, but a few days, unfortunately.”

According to reports, Russia employed 15 Iranian-made Shahed drones in the recent attacks. That suggests that the drones have been modified to open in wintery conditions, as previous media reports had suggested that the Kremlin was forced to ground the unmanned aerial systems due to the cold.

It could suggest that the long winter to come will be one of  drone strikes and artillery duels.

A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.



  1. Infantry Grunt

    December 12, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Equating anything related to Nazis/Nazism as “far right” is either:
    1) Gross incompetence that immediately disqualifies the author.
    2) Leftist propaganda, deflection, and projection (see Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” dedicated to Lucifer).

    – Nazism/fascism is National Socialism. Yes, there is that nasty ‘S’ word.

    – In German, Nazi means National Socialist German Workers Party.

    – Both Hitler & Mussolini were leaders of their respective Socialist parties in Germany & Italy.

    – All forms of Socialism, Fascism & Communism are Leftist/Collectivist/Marxist by nature.

    – One could also argue that in seeing the failures of Soviet & Maoist Communism, China and Russia are actually Fascist nationalist dictatorships that allow businesses a margin for autonomy in order to make a profit that is returned to the state via taxes.

  2. Ram

    December 12, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    Who came up with the idea that Nazis are right wing? Why, it was that well known political commentator and completely unbiased observer Vladimer Lenin.

    So folks calling Nazis right wing are literally following Lenin.

  3. Fred Adams

    December 13, 2022 at 11:06 am

    Nazis in Germany were socialist and totalitarian. Just like Russia and China, to name two others.

    Is Putin relying on a Nazi army to destroy what he claims is a Nazi Ukraine ? Really ? What is clear is that his use of the Wagner group is a very odd reliance on a paramilitary group by a so-called legitimate state to achieve its major war aims.

    Russia has traditionally acted blatantly against international law. The West has tolerated this, and allowed Russia despite its defeats to attain its aims via post-hostilities negotiation. World opinion now seems aligned solidly against Russia. Will the West once more allow a defeated Russia to emerge victorious from the ashes of defeat ?

  4. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    December 13, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Infantry Grunt absolutely nailed it.

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