Ukraine killed dozens of Russian servicemen using US-supplied artillery to attack a base in an occupied part of the country on New Year’s Eve, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday.
Sixty-three servicemen were killed after four HIMARS artillery shells hit a «makeshift base,» the Defense Ministry said in a Telegram on Monday. to post. Two shells were shot down, it added.
Earlier, a senior Russian-backed official in occupied Donetsk said US-supplied HIMARS had attacked a «vocational school» in the city of Makiivka.
“A significant number of dead and injured,” Daniil Bezsonov said Sunday night on Telegram.
While Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack, its military released a cryptic message on Telegram: «As a result of ‘careless handling of heating devices’, neglecting security measures and smoking in an unspecified location, Santa Claus packed around 400 corpses of Russian servicemen in bags.»
«About 300 more have injuries of varying degrees of severity,» the account added.
NBC News was unable to verify the claims on either side. Ukrainian officials were not immediately available for comment.
On Sunday, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said many civilian facilities had come under Ukrainian fire over New Year’s Eve, according to the Russian news agency. rate.
Bezsonov criticized the “crowded deployment of personnel”, which he said helped cause the casualties.
Russian forces have also been hitting cities in Ukraine in recent days, launching missile and drone strikes against key civilian infrastructure.
Overnight, the capital Kyiv was attacked by Iranian-made drones. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said 22 were destroyed in Kyiv, three in the Kyiv outlying region and 15 in neighboring provinces.
“As a result of the night shelling of the capital, energy infrastructure facilities were damaged. There are emergency power outages in the city,” Klitschko said Sunday night in a Telegram. to post.
Power infrastructure facilities were damaged in the attack and an explosion occurred in a district of the city, it said. It was not immediately clear if it was caused by drones or other munitions. An injured 19-year-old man was hospitalized, Klitschko added, and emergency power outages were underway in the capital.
Since October, Russia has carried out airstrikes against power and water supplies almost every week.
Anastasiia Parafeniuk, Artem Grudinin Y Associated Press contributed.