Russian Ministry of Defense: 63 Russian soldiers were killed in a Ukrainian attack that targeted a site for Russian recruits in Makivka with missiles
Russia admitted Monday that 63 of its soldiers were killed in a strike on a separatist region in the east of the country, the highest death toll in a single attack that Moscow has acknowledged since the start of the invasion.
Since the start of its military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian army, which rarely talks about the number of dead and wounded in its ranks, has never reported such heavy losses in one attack.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that 63 soldiers were killed by the explosion of four missiles fired by the “HIMARS” systems, a weapon provided by the United States to Ukrainian forces.
The ministry’s spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, stated that four missiles hit the temporary deployment center of the Russian army in the city of Makivka, east of Donetsk, which is occupied by Russian forces, without specifying the date of the strike.
The ministry also confirmed that it shot down two of the missiles fired at this target in Makevka.
Russian and Ukrainian media reported an attack on Makevka on Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, in which a building housing reservists who were recently mobilized in Russia was targeted.
Without claiming responsibility for the attack, the Ukrainian army spoke of a much larger toll that could reach 400 dead soldiers.
The announcement of this attack comes after dozens of Russian strikes were carried out before and immediately after New Year’s Day, which left at least five dead and dozens wounded.
And at dawn on Monday, the air strikes caused a power outage in Kyiv.
“The Russians launched squadrons of Iranian-made Shahed drones,” Oleksiy Kuleba, an official in the regional military administration, said, explaining that the strikes were targeting essential infrastructure.
The pro-Russian separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine reported Ukrainian bombings before and after New Year’s Eve, leaving at least 15 dead and 15 wounded.
On the other hand, the Russian army announced the continuation of its attack on the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, where most of the battles are currently concentrated.
In this regard, the Ukrainian General Staff said on Sunday evening that “the enemy… continued to attempt to launch attacks in the Bakhmut region, the city that the Russians have been trying to control for more than six months, and where both sides are suffering heavy losses.
Young priest Mark Kupchinenko, who goes to the front every day, told AFP that the soldiers involved in this battle are subjected to incredible exhaustion, both morally and physically.
He added that in the endless war of attrition, some see themselves as a piece of meat, fit only for death.
For its part, the Ukrainian army announced on Monday that it had carried out the strike that killed 63 Russian soldiers in Makivka in eastern Ukraine, according to the toll reported by Moscow, stressing that it had hit up to ten military units.
The Ukrainian General Staff wrote on Facebook, “On December 31, up to 10 units of enemy military equipment of various types were destroyed” in Makevka in the Donetsk region, noting that losses among Russian forces were being assessed.