HIMARS attack on Makiivka
Heavy blow against Russian troops in eastern Ukraine
01/02/2023 3:27 p.m
In the east of Ukraine, Ukraine succeeds in a massive strike on a Russian troop concentration, as both warring factions confirm. While Moscow calls more than 60 fatalities, the Ukrainian military speaks of hundreds dead. Russian channels give further details of the attack.
According to their own account, the Ukrainian armed forces have disabled several hundred Russian soldiers in the Donetsk region in the east of the country. In Makiivka, an unspecified attack on New Year’s Eve destroyed a building that served as accommodation for Russian troops. Around 400 Russian soldiers were killed and 300 others wounded, the Ukrainian military leadership said. The information could not initially be verified independently.
Footage released online, which has not yet been verified, shows a destroyed building in the mining town of Makiivka, in the Donetsk region. It is said to have been a vocational school.
The Russian Ministry of Defense spoke of 63 Russian soldiers who were killed in the attack. Ukraine attacked with six HIMARS missiles, two of which were intercepted. Previously, the occupation administration in the Russian-controlled part of the Donetsk region spoke of less than a hundred soldiers killed. It was a Ukrainian attack on New Year’s Eve on quarters in which Russian recruits were housed.
Reports increase pressure on Moscow
Telegram channels close to the Kremlin and war correspondents had previously reported numerous deaths in the Donetsk region. There was talk of more than 70 dead and more than 100 injured. The reports had increased the pressure on the ministry in Moscow, which then suddenly, at the end of the daily war bulletin, gave a figure that many considered too low.
The Russian state news agency TASS reported on Sunday about a serious attack on the city – and spoke of 15 injured. This was widely criticized as lying and war propaganda.
The well-known and well-informed Russian ex-intelligence officer and former separatist leader Igor Girkin also wrote down Telegram of dead and injured numbering in the hundreds. The approximate numbers of “200s” – that’s what the Russian military speaks for those who died – are available, but he won’t pass them on, Girkin said. Many people are still missing under the rubble. The destroyed facility was mainly occupied by mobilized citizens.
Almost all of the military equipment that stood near the building without camouflage was also destroyed, Girkin continues. He had been warned that such strikes could be repeated at any time as other extremely dense formations of Russian personnel and equipment were within range of Ukraine’s HIMARS missile launchers. Girkin also criticized the Russian generals as “unteachable”.
Did reservists celebrate New Year’s in the building?
The media reported that the reservists called up as part of the partial mobilization ordered by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin had gathered in the building to celebrate the New Year. According to this, the Ukrainian military became aware of the location because of the high activity of data traffic with mobile phones. According to unconfirmed reports, the building was next to an ammunition depot, causing devastating explosions.
In his Telegram news channel, Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bessonov, appointed by the Russian occupiers, called for those who allowed the men to be accommodated in a building to be held accountable. In the past, too, there were repeated reports of serious mistakes made by Russian commanders in this war. Kremlin chief Putin had to accept a number of defeats in the invasion of Ukraine that he began on February 24.