Russia denies 400 troops were killed in Ukraine assault

Up to 400 Russian soldiers were killed, according to Kyiv's military command, who did not claim responsibility for the attack.

Numerous recently mobilised troops deployed by Moscow were killed in a New Year’s Day attack on a facility in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Makiivka, according to reports from both sides. 

Up to 400 Russian soldiers were killed in the incident at Makiivka, a city in the areas of the Donetsk region that are under Moscow’s control, according to Ukraine’s military leadership, which did not claim responsibility for the hit.

Late on Sunday, pro-Russian authorities admitted that there had been casualties but made no comments regarding the Ukrainian estimates.

According to Daniil Bezsonov, a senior Moscow proxy official in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region, a Ukrainian missile struck a Makiivka vocational school housing soldiers,  two minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day.

He claimed, referring to missiles supplied by the US, “A huge blow was inflicted on the vocational school from American MLRS Himars.”

Bezsonov noted in a post on the messaging service Telegram that “there were dead and wounded, the exact number is still unknown.”

Several Russian commentators and bloggers acknowledged the incident, however they stated the numbers were lower than claimed. 

Access to Russian-controlled areas is restricted.

Russian broadcaster Vladimir Solovyov posted a Telegram indicating that the casualties were “serious… but not even close” to 400.

However, Igor Girkin, a pro-Russian analyst, claimed that hundreds had died and been injured, however the precise figure is still unknown due to the significant number of people who are still missing. He claimed that the building was “nearly totally destroyed.”

He further said that rather than those who volunteered to fight, the victims were primarily mobilised troops, or recently enlisted soldiers. Additionally, he claimed that ammunition was kept in the same structure as the soldiers, aggravating the damage.

Along with the estimated 400 fatalities, 300 people were also injured, according to the Ukrainian military.

The Ukrainian army usually daily claims to have killed dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of soldiers during attacks. However, if the allegations are true, this might be one of Ukraine’s deadliest assaults on Russian soil.

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