Donetsk attack kills dozens of Russian soldiers, Moscow says: NPR

Serhii Kaharlytskyi, right, stands outside his house, destroyed after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, January 2, 2023. Iryna, Kaharlytskyi’s wife, died in the attack public on December 31, 2022.

Renata Brito/AP

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Renata Brito/AP

Serhii Kaharlytskyi, right, stands outside his house, destroyed after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, January 2, 2023. Iryna, Kaharlytskyi’s wife, died in the attack public on December 31, 2022.

Renata Brito/AP

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian forces fired rockets at a facility in the eastern Donetsk region where Russian troops are stationed, killing 63 of them, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, in a in the deadliest attacks on Kremlin forces since the war began more than 10 months ago.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that Ukrainian forces fired six rockets from the HIMARS launch system, and two of them were shot down. It did not say when the strike happened.

The attack, using US-supplied precision weapons that have proven crucial in helping Ukrainian forces strike key targets, has caused a new setback for Russia, which in the Recent months have been reeling from a Ukrainian counterattack.

The Ukrainian military did not directly confirm the attack, but appeared to acknowledge what appeared to be the same attack as reported by Russian authorities.

The Directorate for Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced on Sunday that about 400 mobilized Russian soldiers were killed in a vocational school building in Makiivka and about 300 others were injured. That statement cannot be independently verified. The Russian statement said the strike occurred “in the Makiivka region” and made no mention of the vocational school.

Meanwhile, Russia has deployed multiple drones that exploded in another nighttime attack on Ukraine, officials said on Monday, as the Kremlin signaled not to abandon its strategy of using drones. The bombardment targeted the country’s energy infrastructure and weakened Ukraine’s resistance to invasion.

It was the latest in a series of relentless attacks late in the year, including one that killed three civilians on New Year’s Eve.

On Monday, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that 40 drones “went to Kyiv” overnight. According to the air defense, all of them were destroyed.

Klitschko said 22 drones were destroyed in Kiev, three in the suburbs of Kyiv and 15 in neighboring provinces.

The mayor said energy infrastructure was damaged following the attack and an explosion had occurred in one district of the city. It was not immediately clear if it was caused by drones or other weapons. Klitschko added that an injured 19-year-old had been hospitalized and an emergency power outage was underway in the capital.

Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said that in the Kyiv suburbs, a “critical infrastructure” and residential buildings had been attacked.

Russia has been conducting airstrikes on Ukraine’s water and electricity supplies almost weekly since October.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of being an “energy terrorist” as air strikes leave many people without warmth amid freezing temperatures. Ukrainian officials say Moscow is “weaponizing winter” in an attempt to demoralize Ukrainian resistance.

Ukraine is using sophisticated Western-supplied weapons to help shoot down Russian missiles and drones, as well as deliver artillery fire into Russian-controlled areas of the country.

The full-scale invasion of Moscow on February 24 failed, putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as his ground forces struggled to hold their ground and move forward. He said in his New Year’s address to the nation that 2022 was “a year of difficult and necessary decisions.”

Putin insists he has no choice but to send troops into Ukraine because it threatens Russia’s security – an assertion condemned by the West, which holds that Moscow bears full responsibility for the war.

Russia is currently tracking public holidays until January 8.

Drones, missiles and artillery shells launched by Russian forces also hit areas across Ukraine.

Five people were injured in Monday morning shelling on a Ukrainian-controlled area in southern Kherson, Ukraine Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said on Telegram.

Russian forces attacked the city of Beryslav, the official said, firing at a local market, possibly from a tank. Mr Yanushevich said three of the injured were in serious condition and were being evacuated to Kherson.

According to Governor Vitali Kim, seven drones were shot down in the southern region of Mykolaiv, and three more were shot down in the southeastern region of Dnipropetrovsk, Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.

In the Dnipropetrovsk region, a missile was also destroyed, according to Reznichenko. He said that energy infrastructure in the region is being targeted.

The Ukrainian Air Force Command reported on Monday that 39 Iranian-made exploding Shahed drones were shot down overnight, as well as two Russian-made Orlan drones and one X-59 missile.

“We are strong,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry wrote on Twitter.

Ukrainian authorities say an attack on New Year’s Eve has killed at least four civilians across the country and wounded dozens. Klitschko said the fourth victim, a 46-year-old resident of Kiev, died in hospital on Monday morning.

Multiple explosions rocked the capital and other regions of Ukraine on Saturday and throughout the night. The attacks come 36 hours after large-scale missile strikes Russia launched on Thursday aimed at destroying energy infrastructure, and the unusually quick strikes that prompted Ukrainian officials are concerned.

In Russia, a Ukrainian drone struck an energy facility in the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, Bryansk region governor Alexander Bogomaz reported on Monday morning. The result was a village without power, he said.


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