KYIV: On Monday, Russia revealed that numerous of its soldiers had died in one of the most lethal attacks during the Ukraine War, prompting nationalist bloggers to call for the punishment of commanders for placing soldiers next to an ammo depot.
According to the Russian defence ministry, 63 servicemen perished in the catastrophic explosion that levelled a temporary barracks in a former vocational college in Makiivka, the twin city of the regional capital of Donetsk that is under Russian occupation.
It said two rockets were shot down and that four rockets fired from US-made HIMARS launchers had hit the lodging. Although pro-Russian officials dismissed this as an exaggeration, Kiev claimed that the number of Russian fatalities was in the hundreds.
The incident, according to Russian military bloggers, many of whom have large followings, was brought on by munitions being housed in a barracks when it was close to the firing line.
In a separate statement, Ukraine claimed on Monday that during an unprecedented third straight night of airstrikes against…, all 39 of the drones that were in the air had been destroyed.
Ukrainian officials asserted that their achievement proved that Russia’s…
In a separate statement, Ukraine said on Monday that it had shot down all 39 of the drones that Russia had launched during an unprecedented third consecutive night of bombings against civilian targets in Kyiv and other cities.
Ukrainian officials claimed that their success proved that Kyiv’s bolstering of its air defences was quickly defeating Russia’s policy of launching airstrikes in the previous several months to damage Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
An unverified video of the aftermath of the Makiivka attack on the Russian barracks was leaked online and showed a sizable structure reduced to blazing ruins.
One of the most prominent Russian nationalist military bloggers, Igor Girkin, a former leader of pro-Russian soldiers in east Ukraine, first claimed that the number of fatalities was in the hundreds. He then edited his article to include the wounded in that total. According to him, the location had been used to store ammunition and Russian military gear there was not camouflaged.
Around 70 troops’ deaths and more than 100 injuries were reported by Rybar, another nationalist blogger.
Russian opponents claimed the soldiers were living near an ammo storage area at the location, which the Russian defence ministry claimed was struck by four rockets fired from launchers built by the United States called HIMARS.
The attack on Makiivka on New Year’s Eve occurred as Russia launched waves of drone attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities that have since become nightly occurrences.
Russian officials reportedly attacked areas of the Donetsk region that are under Ukrainian control on Monday, damaging an ice rink in the town of Druzhkivka as well as the villages of Yakovlivka and Kramatorsk.
The number of Russian fatalities in Makiivka, according to Ukraine, was in the hundreds, despite claims to the contrary by pro-Russian officials.
The amount of the damage, according to Russian military bloggers, was caused by munitions being kept in the same structure as a barracks despite the fact that commanders were aware it was in the path of Ukrainian rockets.
One of the most prominent Russian nationalist military bloggers, Igor Girkin, a former leader of pro-Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine, claimed that hundreds had been killed or injured. He claimed that the area had been used to store ammunition and that the military gear there was not concealed.
Archangel Spetznaz Z, a Russian military blogger with more than 700,000 followers on the Telegram messaging platform, declared that “What occurred in Makiivka is terrible.”
Who thought it would be a good idea to put so many people in one building when even a fool knows that even if they are hit by artillery, there will be many injured or killed? he asked in his letter. He claimed that commanders “couldn’t care less.”
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy did not mention the Makiivka strike in his nightly statement on Monday, and Ukraine hardly ever officially acknowledges credit for attacks on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.
However, the Makiivka attack was described by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as “a hit on Russian people and military equipment.” It stated that 10 pieces of military equipment were destroyed but did not disclose any casualties.
BANKING ON EXHAUSTION’
After experiencing military setbacks in the second half of 2022, Russia turned to widespread airstrikes against Ukrainian cities.
A third night of airstrikes on civilian targets in Kyiv and other cities by Russia ended on Monday with Ukraine claiming to have shot down all 39 drones that were fired.
According to Ukrainian officials, their achievement demonstrated that Russia’s strategy of pelting Ukraine with missiles and drones in recent months to destroy its energy infrastructure was progressively failing as Kiev strengthened its air defences.
In what it describes as a special military action against its southern neighbour that began on February 24, Russia denies targeting people.
Zelenskiy claimed that after launching dozens of missiles on December 31, Russia launched more than 80 Iranian-made Shahed drones on January 1 and January 2. He added that Russia was preparing a protracted campaign of such attacks to “exhaust” Ukraine.
“Most likely, it is counting on weariness. draining our resources—people, anti-aircraft defences, and energy “In his nightly video message, Zelenskiy added.
He urged Ukraine to “act and do everything possible to ensure that the terrorists fail in their purpose, as all of their previous attempts have done.”