Ukraine claims hundreds of Russians killed in missile attack


KYIV, Ukraine – January 2 (ONLINE) Ukraine says it has killed around 400 Russian soldiers in a missile attack on the occupied Donetsk region.The missile targeted a building in the city of Makiivka, where Russian forces were thought to be stationed.

The figure has not been verified. Pro-Russian authorities acknowledged casualties, but did not confirm the figures being reported.In Kyiv, air raids sounded on Sunday night, as the latest wave of drone and missile strikes from Russia continued.

Daniil Bezsonov, a senior Russian-backed official in the occupied parts of Donetsk, said the missile struck Makiivka two minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day.”A massive blow was dealt to the vocational school from American MLRS Himars,” he said, referring to US-provided missiles.
“There were dead and wounded, the exact number is still unknown,” Bezsonov added in a post on the messaging app Telegram.

Although access to Russian-controlled areas is restricted, a number of Russian commentators and bloggers acknowledged the attack – but suggested the numbers were lower than claimed.Vladimir Solovyov, a Russian presenter, wrote on Telegram “losses were significant… but not even close” to 400.
But Igor Girkin, a Russian military veteran turned commentator, said hundreds had been killed and wounded, and the building itself “almost completely destroyed”.

He said the victims were mainly mobilised troops – that is, recent conscripts, rather than those who chose to fight. He also said ammunition was stored in the same building as the soldiers, making the damage worse.According to the Ukrainian military, 300 were wounded in addition to the estimated 400 killed.Ukraine’s army claims, almost daily, to have killed dozens, sometimes hundreds, of soldiers in attacks, so caution is needed. But if the claims are confirmed, this could be one of the deadliest attacks by Ukraine on Russian targets in the war.

Ukraine has not confirmed the strikes were carried out with Himars missiles, maintaining a long-held strategy of not releasing details about its attacks.It merely said, sarcastically, that the deaths were the result of “careless handling of heating devices, neglect of safety measures, smoking in an unidentified place”.