63 Russian soldiers killed in Ukrainian rocket strike: Moscow

Ukrainian forces fired rockets at a facility in the eastern Donetsk region where Russian soldiers were stationed, killing 63 of them, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, in one of the deadliest attacks against Kremlin forces ever since. the war started over 10 months ago.

Ukrainian forces fired six rockets from a HIMARS Launch System and two of them were shot, according to a Defense Ministry statement. He did not say when the strike happened.

The strike, using a precision weapon supplied by the United States that proved essential in allowing Ukrainian forces to hit key targets, caused a further setback for Russia, which in recent months has been reeling from a Ukrainian counter-offensive.

According to the governor of Russia’s Samara region, Dmitry Azarov, an unknown number of locals were among those killed and injured in the attack on the town of Makiivka.

Russian military bloggers, whose reporting was largely reliable during the war, said munitions stored near the facility exploded in the attack and contributed to the high casualty toll.

Expressing anger over the losses, Daniil Bezsonov, a Russian-appointed administration official in Russian-occupied Donetsk, called for punishment of military officers who ordered large numbers of troops to be stationed in the ‘facility.

Two images from a video obtained by Reuters show the aftermath of a bombing of a building in Makiivka, in a Ukrainian area controlled by Russia, where dozens of Russian army recruits were reportedly killed.

Screengrabs from video obtained by Reuters

The Ukrainian military appeared to acknowledge the attack on Monday, with the general staff confirming that Makiivka had been hit on December 31 and saying 10 Russian military vehicles were destroyed or damaged. He added that Russian personnel losses were still being clarified.

In a claim that could not be independently verified, the Strategic Communications Directorate of the Ukrainian Armed Forces claimed on Sunday that around 400 mobilized Russian soldiers were killed in a vocational school building in Makiivka and around 300 others had been injured. The Russian statement says the strike occurred “in the Makiivka region” and does not mention the vocational school.

Meanwhile, Russia deployed several explosive drones in another nighttime attack on Ukraine, officials said Monday, as the Kremlin signaled no letup in its strategy of using bombings to target the country. country’s energy infrastructure and exhaust Ukrainian resistance to its invasion.

The dam was the latest in a series of relentless year-end attacks, including one that killed three civilians on New Year’s Eve.

On Monday, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said 40 drones “headed towards Kyiv” overnight. All were destroyed, according to the Air Defense Forces. Klitschko said 22 drones were destroyed over Kyiv, three in Kyiv’s outlying region and 15 over neighboring provinces.

Kyiv Police Chief Andriy Nebitov posted a photo of the wreckage of a downed drone that had the words “Happy New Year” written on it in Russian. CBS News could not independently verify the authenticity of the image.

“This is all you need to know about the terrorist state and its military,” he wrote. The Ukrainian government also shared footage of the downed drone in a Twitter post.

“A cynical greeting from Russian terrorists on the wreckage of the drone that the Russians used to attack the Kyiv region on New Year’s Eve”, the post said.

Energy infrastructure was damaged as a result of the attack and an explosion occurred in a part of town, the mayor said. It was not immediately clear whether this was caused by drones or other ordnance. An injured 19-year-old man was hospitalized, Klitschko added, and emergency power cuts were underway in the capital.

In Kyiv’s outlying region, a “critical infrastructure object” and residential buildings were hit, Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said.

Russia has carried out airstrikes on Ukraine’s electricity and water supply almost every week since October.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of “energy terrorism” as aerial bombardment has left many without heating amid freezing temperatures. Ukrainian officials say Moscow is “weaponizing winter” in its effort to demoralize the Ukrainian resistance.

Ukraine uses sophisticated weapons supplied by the West to shoot down Russian missiles and drones, as well as to send artillery fire into areas of the country under Russian control.

The full-scale invasion of Moscow on February 24 plunged the country into war, putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as his ground forces struggle to hold onto territory and advance. He said in his New Year address to the nation that 2022 was “a year of difficult and necessary decisions”.

Putin insists he had no choice but to send troops to Ukraine as it threatened Russia’s security – a claim condemned by the West, which says Moscow bears full responsibility of the war.

Russia currently observes public holidays until January 8.

Drones, missiles and artillery shells launched by Russian forces have also hit areas across Ukraine.

Five people were injured Monday morning in the shelling of a Ukrainian-controlled area in the southern region of Kherson, its Ukrainian governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said on Telegram.

Russian forces attacked the town of Beryslav, the official said, firing into a local market, likely from a tank. Three of the injured are in serious condition and are being evacuated to Kherson, Yanushevich said.

Seven drones were shot down over the southern Mykolaiv region, according to Governor Vitali Kim, and three more were shot down in the southeast Dnipropetrovsk region, Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.

In the Dnipropetrovsk region, a missile was also destroyed, according to Reznichenko. He said the region’s energy infrastructure was targeted.

The Ukrainian Air Force Command reported on Monday that 39 Iranian-made Shahed explosive drones were shot down overnight, along with two Russian-made Orlan drones and an X-59 missile.

“We remain strong,” tweeted Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

A withering New Year’s Eve assault killed at least four civilians across the country, Ukrainian authorities reported, and injured dozens. The fourth victim, a 46-year-old Kyiv resident, died in a hospital on Monday morning, Klitschko said.

Multiple explosions rocked the capital and other parts of Ukraine on Saturday and overnight. The strikes came 36 hours after widespread missile attacks Russia launched on Thursday to damage energy infrastructure, and the unusually quick follow-up has alarmed Ukrainian officials.

In Russia, a Ukrainian drone hit an energy facility in the Bryansk region on the border with Ukraine, Bryansk regional governor Alexander Bogomaz reported Monday morning. As a result, a village was left without electricity, he said.


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