Gunmen kill 11 at Russian military base in latest blow to war in Ukraine
KYIV (Reuters) - Gunmen shot dead 11 people at a Russian military training ground on Saturday, the defence ministry said, in the latest blow to President Vladimir Putin's forces since the invasion of Ukraine.
RIA news agency cited the ministry as saying 15 other people were wounded in the shooting on Saturday in the southwestern Belgorod region that borders Ukraine when two men gunned down a group who had volunteered to take part in the war.
It said the two assailants - nationals from an unspecified former Soviet republic - had been shot dead. Some Russian independent media outlets reported that the number of casualties was higher than the official figures.
The attack took place a week after a blast damaged a bridge in Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014. Earlier in the war, Russia's flagship in the Black Sea blew up and sank.
"During a firearms training session with individuals who voluntarily expressed a desire to participate in the special military operation (against Ukraine), the terrorists opened fire with small arms on the personnel of the unit," RIA cited a defence ministry statement as saying.
Just a day earlier, Putin said Russia should be finished calling up reservists in two weeks, promising an end to a divisive mobilization that has seen hundreds of thousands of men summoned to fight in Ukraine and huge numbers flee the country.