Ukrainian missile strike on Russian town of Makiivka kills dozens of soldiers | Ukraine
A New Year’s Eve attack on a compound in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian town of Makiivka killed dozens of newly mobilized troops sent by Moscow, in what may be one of the deadliest known incidents involving Russian conscripts to date. .
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that 63 Russian soldiers died when Ukraine struck “a temporary deployment facility” with four Himars missiles supplied by the United States.
Without claiming responsibility for the strike, Ukraine’s military command said up to 400 Russian soldiers were killed in the town, located in a Moscow-controlled area in the Donetsk region.
Daniil Bezsonov, a senior Moscow proxy official in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region, said earlier that a Ukrainian missile hit a vocational school in Makiivka which housed soldiers two minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day.
“A heavy blow was dealt to the vocational school by the American MLRS Himars,” Bezsonov wrote in a message on the Telegram messaging app, referring to the missiles supplied by the United States. “There were dead and wounded; the exact number is still unknown.
Photographs circulated on social media show what appear to be the ruins of the Makiivka building used by the Russian army as barracks.
A number of prominent pro-war Russian bloggers and commentators also acknowledged the attack, but suggested that the number of casualties was higher than the figures reported by the Defense Ministry.
“In terms of the number of victims, there are still no definitive figures, since many people are missing (remained under the rubble). In any case, there are several hundred dead and injured,” Igor Strelkov, a Russian ultra-nationalist commentator and former intelligence officer, wrote on Telegram.
Rybar, a popular Telegram channel with ties to the Russian military, said on Monday that as the clearing of debris continued, at least 70 people had died and more than 100 were injured.
If the figures are confirmed, the strike at Makiivka would be one of the deadliest known incidents involving conscripts since the mobilization campaign began in late September.
The attack also sparked fresh criticism among pro-invasion bloggers and some officials over the state of the Russian military and the decision to use civilian infrastructure to house soldiers.
“Housing personnel in buildings instead of shelters directly helps the enemy. From the situation in Makiivka, one must draw the harshest conclusions,” wrote Andrey Medvedev, an ultra-conservative journalist who is deputy speaker of the Moscow city parliament.
Bezsonov called for the punishment of “those who are guilty of the decision to use the facility. Donbass has enough objects with a solid infrastructure where you can house army personnel.
Meanwhile, Moscow extended its bombardment of Ukraine until a second day in 2023, launching several waves of Russian drone attacks that targeted critical infrastructure in and around Kyiv.
Energy infrastructure was damaged during the nightly strikes, causing power and heating outages, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Monday.
It was the second consecutive night of strikes, after Kyiv was targeted on New Year’s Eve. Damage in the capital was limited to two cases of rocket debris falling on the city, damaging a car in the city on Sunday. downtown.
Sunday’s attacks came minutes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivered his New Year’s speech, saying he hoped 2023 would bring a successful conclusion to the fighting and peace in the country.
“We don’t know for sure what 2023 will bring us. I want to wish us all one thing: victory. And that’s the main thing. »