Ukraine killed “hundreds of Russian troops” in an attack on a barracks during Putin’s New Year’s speech
Russia suffered one of its worst war casualties just as Vladimir Putin delivered his televised New Year’s speech, it was revealed today.
Dozens and perhaps hundreds of Putin’s mobilized troops were killed in a Ukrainian HIMARS attack on a barracks in Russian-held Makiivka in the eastern Donbass region just before midnight on December 31 and as Russian missiles and drones rained down on Kyiv.
There have been conflicting claims about the casualties. The Ukrainian military command puts the number of Russian dead at up to 400, with 300 wounded, while Moscow sources suggest lower figures of the dozens but concede a large loss of life.
It was initially impossible to verify the claims, but it is clear on both sides that the Russian president has suffered a major blow and is the latest in a growing list of embarrassments Moscow’s armies have suffered since the invasion began on February 24 to have.
Debris litters the ground after the airstrike in Russian-held Makiivka in the eastern Donbass region. The rockets hit a vocational school that had been converted into barracks for Russian forces
Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his New Year’s speech on December 31, which he records with dozens of soldiers
The incident was well known yesterday but it is the extent of the deaths revealed by both sides today.
According to reports, Russian commanders were among those killed.
The staunch pro-Kremlin Ukrainian blogger Anatoly Shariy posted in dismay: “There are SEVERAL HUNDREDS dead in Makiivka.”
He added sarcastically, “Somebody put them all together in one place.”
Russian pro-war sources said two HIMARS missile strikes hit the Makiivka barracks, while the Moscow-installed administration of Ukraine’s Donetsk region said on Sunday at least 25 missiles were fired at the region on New Year’s Eve.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In its daily report yesterday, it claimed to have destroyed seven HIMARS rockets, including in the Makiivka area.
Dramatic video posted online the night of the attack shows a family watching Putin’s address on a smartphone as they prepare for a traditional New Year’s meal minutes before midnight.
A woman is on the balcony of her block of flats, returning screaming when an incoming attack targets a nearby building, later revealed to be a vocational school converted into barracks for Russian forces.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian video showed a soldier wearing a festive Santa hat as a HIMARS missile was launched around the time of the Makiivka strike. The HIMARS rocket system behind him has been decorated with Christmas lights.
Dramatic video posted online the night of the attack shows a family watching Putin’s address on a smartphone as they prepare for a traditional New Year’s meal minutes before midnight. A woman on the balcony ran back as the strike hit its targets
Another video shows a Ukrainian soldier wearing a festive Santa hat while firing a rocket around the time of the Makiivka strike. The HIMARS rocket system behind him has been decorated with Christmas lights
“According to several sources, we can speak of 50 to 70 people [dead] at this moment. The building is completely destroyed,” reported the Gray Zone news agency, which is linked to Putin’s ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner’s private army.
“Of course we’re not talking about 500 to 600 dead, that’s enemy propaganda. But still there were more than 100 people in the building, about 120 to 150. Even our most positive channels evasively refer to casualties as ‘significant, large and heavy’.’
Another Russian report said: “There were dead and wounded, the exact number is still unknown. The building itself was badly damaged.”
The dead were reported as mobilized Russian troops from the Saratov region stationed in Makiivka.
Additional footage appears to show the body of a woman on the side of the road in Makiivka.
Videos show the total destruction of the school grounds where the mobilized Russian forces were reportedly barracked.
The aftermath of the HIMARS missile attack can be seen in Russian-occupied Makiivka
HIMARS – which stands for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System – is a US-made launch vehicle capable of firing six guided missiles.
The Romanov Light channel said that ammunition was also detonated in the barracks – “hence this destruction”.
Military blogger Boris Rozhin reported “a significant number of dead and wounded”.
According to earlier reports, there were four dead and around 50 injured.
Ukrainian source Obozrevatel said HIMARS destroyed “hundreds of invaders”. “The number of dead is still unknown. According to various estimates, there were between 150 and 700 occupiers at the base during the attack, most of whom were said to have been mobilized from Saratov.
“According to the Strategic Committee of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 400 Russian soldiers were killed and about 300 wounded.”
Daniil Bezsonov, a senior Russian-backed official in the Moscow-controlled parts of Donetsk region, said there had been a strike at a vocational school that preliminary information says was used as a housing facility for military personnel.
The attack, Bezsonov said, happened two minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day.
“The vocational school was dealt a heavy blow by the American MLRS HIMARS. There were dead and wounded, the exact number is still unknown,” Bezsonov said on the Telegram messaging app. “The building itself was badly damaged.”
A Himars missile system, as used by Ukraine, is shown launching a missile
Obozrevatel claimed that senior commanders were among the dead. The Russians were looking for “traitors” who had revealed the location of the barracks.
Russian sources supporting the war angrily criticized the commanders for concentrating so many soldiers in one place, making them a clear target for attack.
The strike was just 185 kilometers from where Putin allegedly recorded his New Year’s message with dozens of troops in Russia’s Rostov region.
Putin sipped Russian champagne with the troops to toast the arrival of 2023 after telling Russians in his annual televised address that “moral and historical” justice was on their side.
The West is “cynically using Ukraine and its people to weaken and divide Russia,” he claimed.
Another video shows mobilized Russian men leaving Saratov in November.
These new recruits are said to have been among those in the affected barracks.
Christmas music and decorations on the Ukrainian rocket launch video are due to the fact that Russians don’t strike the festive season on December 25, but at midnight on New Year’s Day.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11591533/Ukraine-killed-hundreds-Russian-troops-attack-barracks-Putins-New-Year-address.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Ukraine killed “hundreds of Russian troops” in an attack on a barracks during Putin’s New Year’s speech