Russia reports 63 servicemen dead in Ukrainian attack on Makiivka; on New Year’s Eve, Ukrainian forces attacked a temporary barracks in the partially held Donetsk region, killing 63 Russian soldiers, according to Russian claims.
A statement released by the ministry on Monday claimed that Ukrainian forces had fired six HIMARS-guided rockets at the “provisional base” in the eastern Ukrainian city of Makiivka.
It went on to say that Russian air defenses intercepted two missiles, but four still managed to hit their target.
The Ukrainian Strategic Communications Department reported late on Sunday that 400 Russian troops had been killed and another 300 had been wounded in the offensive, prompting the ministry to issue its statement.
Some YouTube video shows what appears to be the destruction of a vocational institution in Russian-controlled Makiivka.
Unfortunately for Al Jazeera, it was impossible to independently confirm the video or the numbers offered by either side. If Ukraine’s count is correct, it would be one of the single bloodiest attacks on Russian forces since Moscow began its invasion in late February.
Donetsk’s government, supported by Moscow, has also confirmed casualties.
The vocational college was targeted by HIMARS rockets a minute after midnight on Saturday, according to Daniil Bezsonov, a senior official in the region backed by Russia.
On the Telegram chat app, Benson wrote late on Sunday night, “There were dead and wounded.” There is no firm estimate available at this time. It was a seriously damaged building itself.
It was reported on Monday by Igor Girkin, a former Federal Security Service officer who assisted Russia in annexing the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and then organized pro-Russian rebel troops in eastern Ukraine, that “the number of dead and wounded reaches into many hundreds.”
Recruits were housed in the same facility as ammunition, according to Girkin, who has been a harsh critic of Russia’s military failings in Ukraine.
He remarked on Telegram, “This is not the only [very dense] deployment of soldiers and equipment in the destructive zone of HIMARS rockets.”
The Russians bombed.
News of the events emerged against a recent slew of Russian bombings of Ukrainian cities. Russian forces have been attacking Ukrainian cities like Kyiv at night since the new year began, even though these cities are located hundreds of kilometers from the battle lines.
Russia launched dozens of Shahed attack drones produced in Iran on Sunday and Monday, following a Saturday onslaught of missiles. On Monday, Ukraine claimed its military had destroyed all 39 drones used in the recent assaults, including 22 aimed toward the capital.
Officials in Ukraine have claimed that the increased bombing is evidence of Russia’s desperation in the face of bolstered Ukrainian air defenses thanks to ongoing military supplies from the West.
Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said on Telegram, “Now they are looking for routes and efforts to harm us somehow, but their terror tactics will not succeed.” The clouds will become a protective barrier around us.
Sunday, Zelenskyy lauded Ukrainians for their appreciation of the military and one another while predicting that Russia’s efforts would be fruitless.
We stand together, so they can’t use drones, rockets, or anything else against us, Zelenskyy stated. Only a shared terror brings them together.
Russia claims it is trying to weaken Ukraine by cutting off its heat and power supply during the coldest time of the year. The Ukrainian government has condemned the attacks, calling them acts of war designed to damage civilians and not serving any military purpose.
Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine have been the worst conflict in Europe since WWII, displacing millions and leaving significant swaths of the country in ruins.
Despite the growing number of casualties, Putin, the Russian president, has promised that his country’s offensive will continue, and Moscow has lately rejected a peace offer proposed by Zelenskyy.
Within his 10-point plan, Zelenskyy demands that Russia withdraw all its troops from Ukraine and recognize its territorial integrity.
Moscow claimed four partially occupied Ukrainian provinces in September: Luhansk and Donetsk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhia in the south. The Kremlin has insisted that Kyiv recognize Russia’s annexation of these territories.
Russia is also insisting that Ukraine acknowledge the loss of Crimea.