- Elsa Mishman and Sam Hancock
- BBC News
Ukraine claims to have killed 400 Russian soldiers in a missile attack in the occupied Donetsk region.
The missile hit a building in the city of Makievka, where Russian forces are believed to be stationed.
Russian officials questioned this number, and admitted that only 63 of their soldiers were killed in the blast. None of these numbers have been verified.
Daniil Bezunov, a senior Moscow-backed official in the occupied Donetsk region, said the missile hit Makevka two minutes after midnight on New Year’s Eve.
“The vocational school was hit hard by the American MLRS Himars,” he said, referring to the missiles provided by the United States.
“There were dead and wounded, the exact number is still unknown,” Bezunov added in a message on the Telegram messaging system.
The government installed by Moscow said at least 25 rockets were fired at the region on New Year’s Eve.
Several Russian commentators and bloggers acknowledged the attack, but noted that the numbers were lower than stated.
Vladimir Solovyov, a Russian broadcaster, wrote on Telegram that “the losses were great…but not close” to 400.
According to the Ukrainian military, in addition to the estimated 400 dead, 300 wounded.
Attacks on the Ukrainian capital
Hours after the Makeyevka attack, Kyiv came under fire. The regional governor of the Ukrainian capital, Oleksiy Kuleba, stated that a drone and missile attack targeted key infrastructure.
The mayor of the Ukrainian capital added that a man was injured in the Ukrainian capital as a result of the wreckage of a destroyed Russian drone.
The attacks come after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wished victory and a “return to normal” for Ukraine in 2023.
For his part, President Vladimir Putin said in his New Year’s address that Russia will fight to protect its sovereignty and independence.
Kyiv’s army alerted to the latest attacks shortly after midnight on Monday.
He announced on Telegram, “An air strike on Kyiv … an air alert in the capital.”
And Serhiy Popko, the head of the city’s military department, asked residents to stay in shelters.
Kuleba, the district governor, pointed out that they were Shahed drones, Iranian madeHe added that it “targeted critical infrastructure facilities.”
“The main thing now is to stay calm and stay in the shelters until the alarm sounds,” he said.
Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure for several months now, destroying power plants and plunging millions of people into darkness during the country’s harsh winter.
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