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Iran Press TV

Russia says killed 'over 600' Ukrainian forces in retaliatory attack

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 08 January 2023 5:41 PM

Russia says its armed forces have killed "over 600" Ukrainian servicemen in a "retaliatory strike" in eastern Ukraine, following the death of dozens of Russian troops in a missile attack in the Donetsk region earlier this month.

In a statement on Sunday, Russia's Defense Ministry said the Ukrainian forces were killed in a massive missile strike on two buildings temporarily housing Ukrainian forces in the eastern city of Kramatorsk.

The ministry said more than 1,300 Ukrainian troops were stationed in the two buildings which were used as barracks, adding that it had used "reliable intelligence" to target those forces. "As a result of a massive missile strike on these temporary deployment points of Ukrainian army units, more than 600 Ukrainian servicemen were destroyed."

The ministry said the strike was in retaliation for a Ukrainian attack on a school that was converted into military quarters in the Russian-controlled city of Makiivka in Donetsk on New Year's Day which left at least 89 Russia troops dead.

There was no immediate comment from the government in Kiev on Russia's claim. However, Serhiy Cherevaty, a spokesman for the Ukrainian army, has denied Russia's claim, saying, "This is another piece of Russian propaganda."

The mayor of Kramatorsk also said earlier in the day that nobody had been killed in an attack on various buildings in the city.

Moscow is yet to offer any proof of its claim to have killed hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers. If confirmed, it would be the single largest loss of Ukrainian troops since Russia attacked the former Soviet state on February 24, 2022.

Russia started the "special military operation" in Ukraine with the declared aim of "de-Nazifying" the country, accusing Kiev of failing to implement the terms of an earlier peace agreement with the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Since the beginning of the war, the United States and its European allies have imposed waves of economic sanctions on Moscow while supplying large consignments of heavy weaponry to Kiev.

The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that the sanctions and the Western military assistance to Kiev will only prolong the war.

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