Around 400 Russian soldiers were killed and another 300 wounded in a precision Ukrainian strike on a school housing mobilized troops in the Donbas, Ukraine’s military has reported.
The strike, which hit the building of Vocational School No. 19 in Makiyivka, a town in the Russian-occupied part of Donetsk Oblast, was carried out late on New Year's Eve, the Strategic Communications Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on Jan. 1.
Pictures and video from the scene of the Ukrainian strike started to circulate on social media shortly after the attack, showing that the building of the school had been almost completely destroyed. The Ukrainian source did not say what weapon had been used to carry out the strike.
Russian military bloggers also reported the strike, saying that there had been mass casualties, and expressing outrage that so many troops had been located in one building. They blamed the strike on Ukraine’s HIMARS high-precision rockets.
Some commentators, on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides, suggested that the explosion had been so massive because the Russians had been storing ammunition in the basement of the building, though this is not confirmed.
One person died in that attack, and another injured person died in hospital afterwards, Ukrainian media reported. Around 20 people were injured, including a Japanese photo-journalist.
Russia then attacked Ukraine with a wave of Iranian-made Shahed flying bombs at about 12.35 a.m. on Jan. 1. Ukraine said all of the drones were shot down.
Then late on Jan. 1 and into the early hours of Jan. 2 Russia launched another wave of Shahed flying bombs at the Ukrainian capital.
The Ukrainian air force said it shot down 39 of the incoming flying bombs. Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said one person had been wounded in the Russian attack, and that civilian infrastructure had been damaged in the attack.
Russia launched a campaign at the beginning of October to destroy Ukraine’s energy infrastructure so as to deny the Ukrainian population power, heating, and water supplies during winter.
Since then, there have been several mass Russian missile attacks across Ukraine, which the Ukrainian authorities say have caused various amounts of damage to the country’s energy grid.
The attacks have resulted in widespread blackouts across the country, with power, water and heating supplies cut off for millions of people, sometimes for days at a time.
The Kremlin hopes this will make the Ukrainian public pressure their government to agree to a ceasefire, which Russia desperately needs to rebuild its military, which has been smashed by 10 months of fighting in Ukraine.