Dozens of Russian soldiers may have died when Ukraine attacked the area controlled by Moscow

DONETSK, UKRAINE – DECEMBER 30: Soldiers from the 59th brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces fire grad missiles at Russian positions in the Russian-occupied Donbas region on December 30, 2022 in Donetsk, Ukraine . A large swath of the Donetsk region has been controlled by Russian-backed separatists since 2014. Russia has been trying to expand its control there since the February 24 invasion. ( Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

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Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday said Ukraine killed dozens of Russian servicemen when it used US-supplied artillery to attack a base in the occupied part of the country on New Year’s Eve.

63 servicemen were killed after four HIMARS artillery shells hit a “temporary base,” the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday in a Telegram parcel. Two projectiles were shot down, the statement added.

Earlier, a senior Russian-backed official in occupied Donetsk said a “vocational school” in the city of Makiivka had been hit by US-supplied equipment. HIMARS.

“A significant number of people died and were injured,” Daniil Bezsonov said on Telegram Sunday night.

While Ukraine did not claim responsibility for the attack, its armed forces posted a cryptic letter message on Telegram: “Due to ‘careless handling of heating devices’, bypassing security measures and smoking in an unknown place, Santa Claus packed about 400 bodies of Russian servicemen in a bag. “

“About 300 others had injuries of varying degrees of severity,” the account added.

NBC News was unable to verify statements from either party. Ukrainian officials were not immediately available for comment.

On Sunday, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said many civilian facilities were shot by Ukraine on New Year’s Eve, according to TASS.

Bezsonov criticized the “crowded deployment of personnel” which he said was the cause of the casualties.

Russian forces have also been pounding cities across the country Ukraine in recent days, launching missile and drone attacks on critical civilian infrastructure.

Overnight, the capital Kyiv came under attack from Iranian-made drones. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said 22 bombs were destroyed in Kiev, three on the outskirts of Kyiv and 15 in neighboring provinces.

“As a result of the nighttime shelling of the capital, the energy infrastructure was damaged. There were emergency power outages in the city,” Klitschko said in a Telegram on Sunday evening. parcel.

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.

Since October, Russia has been conducting air strikes on electricity and water supplies almost weekly.


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