“Hundreds” killed when Ukrainian Himars destroyed Russian barracks

Early estimates indicate that the New Year’s Eve attack in Makiivka could be Moscow’s largest single loss of life since the start of the war

After tracking soldiers using their mobile phones, the Ukrainian army launched its missile attack on a Russian barracks.

When they found a large number using a local cell phone tower, the Ukrainians confirmed that the soldiers were there.

A massive building housing several hundred Russian soldiers that had recently been mobilised was flattened by a Ukrainian Himars assault in Russia-held eastern Ukraine.

Early estimates indicate that the New Year’s Eve attack upon the Makiivka barracks could have been Russia’s largest loss of life since February when the invasion began.

The death toll in Ukraine was “about 400”, while some pro-Russian separatists from the region claimed that “hundreds” of those killed had been recorded. In a rare admission by the Kremlin, 63 men were killed, far more than the official death toll from the sinking of the Moskva.

Monday’s attack on Makiivka school, a suburb in Donetsk was mocked by the Ukrainian military, who attributed it to “smoking at inappropriate places”.

The communications unit of the Ukrainian army captured a video showing the destruction of a large building. Only one wall was left amongst the rubble.

Separatist official Daniil Bezsonov confirmed Monday that the school at Makiivka was attacked by the Himars multi-rocket system of Ukraine, which is a powerful precision missile weapon made in the USA. This has altered the course and outcome of the war.

The Ukrainian military uploaded a video on the internet shortly before reporting the death toll. It was captioned “Surprise!” and showed what appears to be an Himars system carrying out a strike in darkness.

Russia’s ultranationalist politicians and staunch supporters of war Monday spoke out about a “tragedy at Makiivka”; they blamed the Russian military, accusing them of being careless and inviting large casualties for housing so many soldiers close to the frontline.

Officials in Russia-controlled Donetsk blamed Monday the Russian victims who gave their location via mobile phone data.

According to them, the Ukrainian army was able to detect unusual activity in the mobile network and the location of subscribers.

Ukrainian media reported that almost 300 soldiers were enrolled at the school, with most being from Russia.

Retired Russian official Igor Girkin was a former commander of the Ukrainian separatist movement. He has become increasingly critical of Russia’s handling of the conflict and accused the Russian military Monday of negligence in the deaths.

After the ammunition was detonated, the entire building collapsed. The nearby location also saw the destruction of armoured vehicles.

According to Mr Girkin, the number of Makiivka casualties is in the “several hundred,” adding that many people were still missing due to being trapped under the debris.

He stated that he was repeatedly contacted by people complaining that Russian troops in east Ukraine could be under attack “any moment”. They were located precariously close to the front line and within the reach of the Himars rocket systems.

Andrei Medvedev is a pro-Kremlin Moscow lawyer who has connections to the Donetsk separatists. He stated that the decision to house troops in a house and not in a well-hidden location was direct aid for the enemy.

Russia’s defense ministry acknowledged that the missiles had landed more than 24 hours later, stating that four Himars rockets “hit a temporary facility for Russian troops”, killing at least 63 people.

It is possible that the count is significantly underestimated. Russian officials claim that the Moskva sinking killed 17-37 naval officers. However, independent estimates show that the number was much higher.

Authorities in Ukraine reported that Russian drones were now operating over Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and other regions in the south and centre of the country.

However, the Ukrainian army claimed that its air defense had shot down every Russian drone since December 30.

According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko in Kyiv, all 40 Russian drones that were launched Monday morning by Russians were shot down. However, their debris fell on power lines causing further blackouts.

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