Three British former special forces soldiers are feared to have been killed in a Russian airstrike near the Polish border.
More than 30 Russian cruise missiles targeted the Yavoriv base yesterday, killing as many as 180 people.
The trio were not part of the foreign legion fighting unit being trained at the base six miles from the border, sources told The Mirror.
Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for Russia’s ministry of defence, said the base was struck by ‘long-range, high-precision’ weapons because it was hosting ‘foreign mercenaries and a large shipment of foreign weapons’.
He added: ‘The destruction of foreign mercenaries who arrived on the territory of Ukraine will continue.’
Konashenkov said up to 180 people had been killed in the strike, though Ukraine initially said 35 people died and another 134 were wounded.
But a source told The Mirror today: ‘There were many more killed within the site than has been claimed and bodies are still being found.
‘I do not believe the three British ex-military personnel would have known anything about it, fortunately.
‘This is extremely sensitive as there are believed to be no serving British military personnel inside Ukraine as politically that would be extremely controversial.’
Bombs fell on the base early Sunday morning, with witnesses saying many of the foreign recruits were sleeping when the strike was carried out.
According to Mail Online, British military veterans at the base who survived the attack described hearing the sound of incoming engines before several large blasts destroyed one building, damaged another, and sprayed shell fragments through the air. It is thought the base was hit by Russian cruise missiles as opposed to fighter jets.
James, a former British artillery soldier identified only by his first name, told Buzzfeed of hearing the sound of incoming missiles as he was in bed, saying: ‘I just lied there and thought: I’m going to die.’
‘A couple of buildings got hit… One they decimated and there was one that was on fire. And then there was just frag[mentation] everywhere. And a crater… in the middle of camp.’
On Monday, a Russian airstrike on the capital Kyiv killed at least two people and wounded others as it blew up and set light to an apartment building.
A town councilor for Brovary, east of Kyiv, was also killed in fighting there as shells fell on the towns of Irpin, Bucha, and Hostomel.
Ukrainian officials said two more people died and seven were injured after Russian forces struck an airplane factory in Kyiv, sparking a large fire.