Kyiv claims 400 killed as Himars flatten Russian barracks in Makiivka

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Ukraine has claimed 400 people died after a Himars attack flattened a Russian army barracks in the eastern region of the ex-Soviet state. According to early estimates, the New Year’s Eve aerial attack on Makiivka could be Russia’s single biggest loss of life since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine last February. 

Kyiv estimates, which indicated “about 400” people died, appear to have been corroborated by some pro-Russian separatists.

Kremlin-backers in the region have argued that “hundreds” had died, according to the Telegraph.

Ex-separatist commander Igor Girkin tallied the number of casualties as “in the several hundreds” in an update on his official Telegram account.

Moscow claimed 63 men were killed in a strike against a “temporary facility for Russian troops”.

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If Russia’s account is to be believed, then the death toll is significantly less than the number who perished following the sinking of Moskva.

However, the count is likely to be a significant underestimation.

Before releasing an update about the number killed, Ukraine’s military captioned “surprise” in a post online as they showed what appears to be a Himars system launching a strike in the dark.

Ultra-nationalist politicians in Russia labelled the attack as a “tragedy” and blamed its military for being too careless.

Officials in Donetsk on Monday appeared to lament the Russian victims for giving away their location through mobile phone data.

They alleged Ukraine was able to detect an unusual “activity of the mobile network and location of the subscribers”.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed that skirmishes in the last few days have focused on a key Russian supply route.

In a recent intelligence update, the MoD said: “Over the last five days, Russian and Ukrainian forces have probably been fighting for control of the P66 highway, north of the Russian-held Luhansk Oblast town of Kremina.

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“The P66 is a key supply route for the northern section of Russia’s Donbas front from the Belgorod region of Russia.

“Its use has been disrupted by Ukrainian artillery since October, but if Ukraine were able to secure the route, if would highly likely further undermine Russia’s defence of Kremina.”

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