– by Pavel Polityuk

    Kyiv (Reuters) – Russia has acknowledged the deaths of dozens of soldiers in a rocket attack on a city in occupied eastern Ukraine.

    The Defense Ministry in Moscow put the death toll at 63 on Monday after four rockets hit a makeshift barracks in the Donetsk town of Makiivka. These were fired from US-made Himars rocket launchers. Ukraine, on the other hand, spoke of hundreds of Russian soldiers killed. Footage circulated online showing the smoking debris of a large building. The Reuters news agency was unable to verify the information or the authenticity of the video. Russia has rarely conceded major casualties since invading Ukraine.

    Russian military bloggers reacted furiously to the news. This was linked to the accusation that large quantities of ammunition had also been stored on site in the immediate vicinity of the accommodation. Igor Girkin, a prominent former commander of pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, also wrote of military equipment being stored there without camouflage. “Who came up with the idea of ​​putting a lot of staff in one building when even an idiot knows that an artillery hit would result in many dead or wounded?” wrote blogger Archangel Spetznaz Z, who has more than 700,000 followers on Telegram . “Every mistake has a name.”

    Russia, meanwhile, continued its airstrikes on Ukrainian cities for the third straight night. The government in Kyiv said that all 39 Iranian-made drones that had been fired at the capital and other cities had been shot down. Ukrainian authorities took the successes they listed as a sign that the Russian strategy of attacking the energy infrastructure is increasingly failing due to improved air defenses. The series of attacks over three nights indicated a new Russian tactic: previously, larger attacks had been carried out about a week apart.

    On Monday, the governor of Russia’s Bryansk region reported on a Ukrainian drone attack. After that, the power went out, Alexander Bogomas explained on Telegram. Twelve hours later he added that the damage had been completely repaired. This information could not be verified by an independent party either.

    Russian forces suffered multiple defeats in Ukraine in the second half of 2022. They lost more than half of the territory they had occupied since the invasion began in February. In contrast, according to the information available, the front lines have changed relatively little in recent weeks. Thousands of soldiers are said to have died in heavy fighting.

    (Other Reuters reporters; Written by Scot W. Stevenson; Edited by Hans Seidenstücker; If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at [email protected] (for politics and the economy) or [email protected] ( for companies and markets).)