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Sunday, January 29, 2023
HomeWorldPutin faces internal criticism for the death of 63 soldiers in Ukraine

Putin faces internal criticism for the death of 63 soldiers in Ukraine

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The Russian military command has been accused by Russian war correspondents and separatist former official Igor Strelkov of “not learning from its mistakes”.

In a rare casualty announcement and after criticism from Russian war correspondents, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said yesterday that 63 Russian servicemen were killed by the explosions of “four rockets” in Makiivka – a Russian-held city east of Donetsk – on New Year’s Eve.

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Earlier in the day, the strategic communications directorate of the Ukrainian armed forces announced that nearly 400 Russian soldiers had been killed in Makiivka.

According to the Defense Ministry, the missiles were fired from HIMARS systems, a weapon supplied by the US to Ukrainian forces, and hit “a temporary deployment center” of the Russian military in Makiivka.

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The announcement of these heavy losses immediately provoked criticism of the Russian military command, which was mainly accused by separatist former officer Igor Strelkov that ammunition had been stored in this unprotected building.

“Dangerous and criminal”

Russia’s increasingly influential war correspondents said hundreds of people may have been killed in the attack on a vocational training institution in Makiivka and accused military commanders of failing to learn from their past mistakes.

“Ten months after the start of the war, it is dangerous and criminal to think that the enemy is a blind fool,” said Andrei Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Moscow City Legislative Assembly.

The governor of Russia’s Samara region, Dmitry Azarov, announced that he had opened a hotline for the relatives of the slain soldiers.

On social media, some accused Russian authorities of downplaying the death toll.

“My God, who will believe the number 63? The building was completely destroyed,” wrote a Russian woman, Nina Vernich, on the main Russian social media site, VKontakte.

Through VKontakte, Russians were asked to collect clothes, medicine and materials for the survivors.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced for his part that his army has shot down more than 80 drones since the beginning of 2023.

“In the near future, this number may increase,” he said.

The strike was announced after a New Year marked by Russian bombings in Kyiv and other cities, which killed five people and injured hundreds.

Yesterday, Monday, Kyiv again came under fire from Iranian-made drones, but Ukrainian forces claimed that most of them were shot down.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in the northeastern sector of the city.

Yesterday, Monday evening, the governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleg Sinegubov, said that the second largest city of Ukraine and its region are again being targeted by Russian missiles.

Summit in Kyiv

“Important infrastructure was targeted,” he wrote.

Chief of the General Staff Valery Zaluzny said the army had so far liberated “40% of the territories that were occupied after February 24”.

Four loud explosions were heard yesterday, Monday night, by AFP journalists in Kramatorsk Oblast, the de facto administrative capital of Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine.

Regional authorities announced via Twitter that “two rockets” fell in Druzkivka and Yakovlivka, near Kramatorsk, and said two people were injured.

Russia’s defense minister said high-precision weapons were used to carry out the deadly strikes in Kramatorsk and the Kharkiv region, claiming “more than 70 foreign mercenaries” were killed.

Ukraine and the European Union will hold a summit on February 3 in Kyiv to discuss European economic and military support for Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office announced Monday.

Zelensky discussed the details of this high-level meeting during a telephone conversation with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

According to the statement, they talked about the delivery of “appropriate” weapons and the launch of the new 18 billion euro financial aid program for Ukraine adopted in December by the European Parliament.

Kyiv insisted that a first installment of this aid be paid to Ukraine in January.

RES-EMP

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