Ukraine: 63 Russian soldiers killed in strike near Donetsk | War in Ukraine

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Ukraine: 63 Russian soldiers killed in strike near Donetsk | War in Ukraine

The United States delivered several missile systems to the Ukrainian forces, including the HIMARS system (archives).

Russia on Monday acknowledged the death of 63 of its soldiers in Ukraine, killed in a strike in separatist territory in the east of the country, the heaviest losses in a single attack admitted by Moscow since the beginning of the invasion.

Moscow has only very rarely given an assessment of its offensive or communicated on its losses. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, 63 servicemen were killed in the explosion of four missiles fired by HIMARS systems, a weapon supplied by the United States to Ukrainian forces.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov

According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, who did not specify the date of the strike, these missiles hit a temporary deployment center of the Russian army in Makiivka, a city under Russian occupation located east of the separatist stronghold of Donetsk.

The ministry again claimed to have shot down two of the six missiles fired at this target in Makiivka.

< p class="e-p">On Sunday, Russian and Ukrainian media had started reporting on the strike, saying it had taken place on the night of Saturday to Sunday, at the time of the transition to the new year, and that a building where were reservists recently mobilized in Russia had been affected.

Ukrainian servicemen on an armored personnel carrier.< /p>

Without claiming responsibility for the strike, the Ukrainian army mentioned a much heavier toll, which could go up to 400 soldiers killed, according to it.

L' announcement of this strike comes after a New Year marked by Russian bombardments on kyiv and other cities on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which left five dead and around 50 injured.

At dawn on Monday, the strikes caused power cuts in kyiv.

The Russians launched several waves of Iranian-made Shahed drones, said Oleksiy Kuleba, the head of the Kyiv region's military administration, noting that the strikes were directed against critical infrastructure.

This Russian drone photographed in kyiv matches the description of an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone, according to Ukrainian authorities.< /p>

According to the capital's mayor Vitali Klitschko, a 19-year-old man was injured by shards of glass.

Ukrainian air defense claimed to have shot down 41 drones and a Russian missile.

Operator DTEK announced that the attack caused damage to infrastructure related to kyiv's electricity supply and that it should thus imposing emergency cuts.

The national company Ukrenergo confirmed the power outages, while ensuring that the situation was completely under control.

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After a series of military reverses on the ground and Ukrainian attacks targeting Russian territory and annexed Crimea, Moscow opted from October for a tactic of bombing Ukraine's infrastructure, regularly causing power and water cuts.

Russian authorities reported on Monday a Ukrainian drone attack on an electrical installation in the Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine, and claimed to have shot down a Ukrainian reconnaissance drone heading this time towards the great city of Voronezh.

A facility providing electricity was damaged during the strike, a village is without electricity, Governor Alexander Bogomaz said.

Moscow assured that its New Year's Eve strikes targeted drone manufacturing facilities.

The Russians are losing. Drones, missiles and everything else won't help them. Because we are together, reacted Sunday evening President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“And they won't take a single year away from Ukraine, they won't take away our independence. We won't give them anything. We respond to every Russian strike […] on all our cities and communities.

—Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine have reported on their side Ukrainian bombings before and after the New Year, which left at least one dead and 15 injured.

The Russian army also declared on Sunday to continue its offensive in the Donetsk region, in eastern Ukraine, where most of the fighting is currently concentrated.

< p class="e-p">The General Staff of the Ukrainian forces stressed in this regard on Sunday evening that the enemy […] continued to attempt attacks in the Bakhmout sector, the point the hottest part of the front, where both sides suffered heavy losses.

The soldiers engaged in this battle were subjected to incredible moral and physical fatigue. And in this endless war of attrition, some end up seeing themselves as meat, just good enough to be sent to death, explained on the spot to AFP Mark Kouptchenenko, a young Ukrainian military chaplain who goes to the front every day.

There are no or very few rotations, they are constantly in combat, under enormous pressure, subject to orders that sometimes they no longer understand, he said again.

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