What we know about Ukraine’s attack in Makiivka | Russia-Ukraine war News

A Ukrainian missile attack on January 1 on a vocational school with Russian troops mobilized in Ukraine’s Russian-controlled Donetsk region became one of the bloodiest incidents in the war. Russia’s nearly year-long war in Ukraine.

What do we know and don’t know about what happened?

What happened?

The attack on the 19th Professional Technical School in Makiivka, a twin city to the regional capital Donetsk that has been controlled by Russian proxies since 2014, occurred within the first minute after midnight of New Year’s Day, Daniil Bezsonov, a Russian installed. Donetsk officials said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Ukraine attacked with six US-made HIMARS missiles.

The governor of Russia’s Samara region said many of the soldiers killed were locals.

Unconfirmed footage circulating on social media shows people watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s midnight speech before running for cover when the rocket crashes into the ground nearby.

Reuters photos from the scene show the remains of the school.

damage Maviivka
Workers clear debris from the destroyed building believed to be the 19th Professional Technical School in Makiivka [Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]


Reports of casualties vary. Reuters could not independently verify how many people were killed.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that 63 soldiers were killed in the attack, an assessment echoed by a source close to the leader of the Russian-installed Donetsk separatists, who told Reuters that dozens of people died.

The department only acknowledged the attack in the final paragraph of its 528-word daily compilation, more than 36 hours after the attack took place.

Russia has consistently given lower casualty figures, including claiming that only one person was killed in the sinking of the battleship Moskva in April 2022.

Ukraine has claimed a much higher casualty figure, saying around 400 people died.

Some Russian military bloggers, who have gained large followings by mixing pro-Kremlin with disinformation about the front, also give casualty figures close to Ukrainian numbers.

In a post on the messaging app Telegram, Igor Girkin, a former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer credited with starting the first war in 2014 in Donbas, said that there have been “hundreds” “people killed and wounded.

Girkin said that ammunition and military equipment were stored in the buildings, contributing to the explosion’s power. He blamed Russia’s “untrainable” generals for the losses.

Gray Zone, a Telegram channel linked to the Wagner mercenary outfit, said about 500 men were brought into the complex.

In footage circulated on social media and located by Reuters, the vocational school, a large complex of Soviet-era buildings, is nearly leveled as emergency services workers sift through rubble.

Commemorating the Russian soldiers who died
People take part in a memorial service for Russian soldiers killed in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict in Samara, Russia a day after 63 Russian servicemen were killed in Makiivka [Albert Dzen/Reuters]

Backlash in Russia

Taking place at the height of New Year’s celebrations, the most important holiday of the year in Russia, the attack resonated within Russia.

A report by the state news agency TASS, citing Donetsk officials and saying that Ukrainian forces were able to identify targets from soldiers using their Russian mobile phones, sparked anger. in the Russian military blogger community.

“As expected, what happened in Makiivka began to be blamed on the mobilized soldiers themselves. You see, they turned on their phones and got caught,” said Telegram’s Gray Zone channel.

The gray zone continued to blame the commanders for placing a large number of troops in a building vulnerable to shelling.

In a Telegram post, Sergei Mironov, leader of the Kremlin loyalist party in Russia’s parliament, said that an investigation was needed to determine whether “betrayal or criminal negligence” was behind the incident. strike or not. He said the officials responsible should be prosecuted.


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