Russian forces have launched an air strike on a shipyard in the southern Ukrainian port city of Nikolaev. The attack on Tuesday killed at least 500 Ukrainian soldiers stationed at the factory. Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The statement said that in a "precision missile attack" by the Russian air force on Tuesday, Ukrainian military personnel were killed as well as military weapons, ammunition and military vehicles destroyed. It is said that Ukrainian forces fighting in Luhansk, a region controlled by Russian separatists in Ukraine, have already lost 60 percent of their strength. Ukraine has also admitted to the attack on Nikolaev's shipyard. A statement from the country's defense ministry on Wednesday said that Russian forces had launched a series of cruise missile strikes on Nikolaev, causing extensive damage to the port's infrastructure, factories and power plants. A statement from Ukraine's Defense Ministry did not comment on the casualties. Meanwhile, within 24 hours of the attack on Nikolaev on Tuesday, the Ukrainian military carried out a drone strike in the Russian province of Rostov on Wednesday morning. However, no one was injured in the attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 after a two-and-a-half-month deployment of troops along the border over the conflict between the United States and its Western ally NATO. Two days before the announcement, he recognized the two Russian separatist-controlled regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine as independent states. On Wednesday, the 117th day of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian forces have taken full control of the country's two port cities of Kherson and Mariupol, the city of Liam in Donetsk province and part of the central province of Zaporizhiya. Russian forces are currently engaged in a fierce battle with Ukrainian forces in the town of Sevardanetsk in the eastern Ukrainian province of Luhansk.