War in Ukraine. Criticism increased in Russia after the deadly Makiivka attack

Criticism increased in Russia after the New Year’s Eve attack on Russian soldiers in Makiivka, eastern Ukraine, in which Moscow said the death toll was 89 and blamed the military’s use of cell phones.

Also read: War in Ukraine: The Kremlin is in crisis communications after heavy Russian losses

The Ukrainian general staff confirmed carrying out this attack and the strategic communications department of the Ukrainian army claimed a much higher toll in Russian ranks, totaling 400 killed and 300 wounded. But this statement has not been confirmed by the staff.

The United States has also yet to comment on these figures. But John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, said no “There are no complaints from the (US) government. This is war. (Ukraine) has been attacked and they are fighting and defending themselves.”he said Wednesday in an interview with the press. “Russian soldiers on their territory are a legitimate target of military action for Ukraine, period “, he added.

“Massive” use of cell phones.

On the Russian side, the initially announced death toll of 63 was revised upwards on Wednesday following the discovery of new bodies in the rubble of buildings in Makiivka, which was targeted by a Ukrainian strike on January 1 at 00:01 (22:01 GMT). , said Russian general Sergey Sevryukov in a video message broadcast by his ministry.

According to him, par “the main cause” typing is “massive use by mobile staff” despite a ban on doing so, which allowed Ukrainian forces to geolocate these Russian troop concentrations.

Sergei Sevryukov assures that “necessary steps are taken to avoid such tragic events in the future” and “those responsible will be held accountable”.

Unprofessional soldiers

These were the heaviest casualties in a single offensive acknowledged by Moscow since the offensive began in February, which came after a series of humiliating military setbacks on the ground. According to Russian media, the victims were mobilized, therefore not professional soldiers.

In Russia, the tougher balance sheet announcement did not fail to elicit fresh criticism of the military command, which was criticized on Monday and Tuesday for “inability” by correspondents and commentators.

Chain boss RTthe Kremlin’s spearhead of international propaganda, Margarita Simonian, called for publishing the names of the Russian officers involved and taking “the extent of their responsibility”.

“It’s time to understand that impunity does not lead to social harmony. Impunity leads to new crimes. And, therefore, for public dissent.”he wrote on Telegram.

“They will drag him out”

Pro-Russian separatist leader Denis Pouchiline insisted on praising him “heroism” soldiers who survived the Ukrainian attack, who risk their life go “save their comrades” under the rubble. According to him, the deputy regiment commander was killed.

In a message posted on Telegram late Wednesday, he said he was visiting the wounded with Viktor Goremykin, Russia’s deputy defense minister, and Dmitry Azarov, governor of the Samara region where some of the victims were from. . Nearly all of the injured have been transferred to other regions of Russia for medical treatment, Pushilin said.

Many Russians are demanding, on social networks, a transparent investigation into the circumstances of the strike. “They will drag this out and in the worst case, they will blame someone”so fears Valery Butorin on the VK network.

“Superficial negligence”

“It’s not the phones and their owners that are to blame, but the banal negligence of the commanders, who I’m sure didn’t even try to move personnel.” exited the building, denouncing the “Notes of a Veteran” group on Telegram, which has 200,000 subscribers.

According to the Russian army, this strike was carried out using the Himars missile system, a weapon supplied by the United States to Ukraine, which allows it to strike deep behind enemy lines.

“We are providing and will continue to provide (Ukrainian citizens) the equipment and assistance they need to defend themselves. And yes, we have supplied Himars and we may be supplying more in the future”warned John Kirby, spokesman for America’s National Security Council.

During a telephone conversation, French President Emmanuel Macron announced to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that France would deliver to Ukraine “light battle tank” French manufacture, according to the Elysée.

On Twitter, Volodymyr Zelensky thanked France for the new aid. The number of tanks and delivery time are not specified.

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