Russia says goodbye to the Christmas truce with attacks on the entire front

Russia closed the Christmas truce on Sunday with attacks on the entire front, including a punitive missile operation against Ukrainian army barracks in Donbas, where more than 600 soldiers were killed, according to Russian military sources.

The fighting did not stop at any time during the 36-hour Russian ceasefire, but it intensified on Sunday, both sides admitted.

Russians and Ukrainians are waiting for the start of the next enemy counteroffensive, although the “general winter” advises against sudden movements with night temperatures of up to 14 degrees below zero in Donbas.

Massacre in the barracks

In its evening report, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have killed more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers in two military “dormitories” in the Ukrainian stronghold of Kramatorskin the Donetsk region.

The Russian artillery launched a “massive missile attack” against two bedrooms in that city after receiving “reliable” information about the location of the Ukrainian contingent, explained General Igor Konashenkov.

In both bedrooms there were more than 1,300 soldiers, of whom more than 600 perished under Russian bombs, a fatality that has not been confirmed by kyiv.

The Russian military spokesman described the bombing as a “revenge operation” for the Ukrainian attack carried out at midnight from December 31 to January 1 against a Russian military unit in the city of Makiivka, also in Donetsk.

At least 89 Russian soldiers and reservists were then killed in the HIMARS missile barrage after kyiv tracked down the said soldiers due to the massive use of mobile phones to congratulate their relatives on the New Year.

No let up on the front

After the truce ended last midnight, Konashenkov said, the Russian army attacked Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv regions on Sunday.

In the last 24 hours, Russian troops have shot down five Ukrainian planes: two Su-25s, one Su-27, one Su-24 and one MiG-29.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian troops have also attacked the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia in the last 24 hours, including a UN mission.

“Even at Christmas the enemy does not stop terror against the civilian population,” Oleg Sinegubov, head of Kharkov’s military administration, denounced on Telegram.

For their part, the pro-Russians accused the Ukrainian forces of damaging two thermoelectric plants in Donetsk with missiles, where two women were reportedly killed in the attack on a third plant.

Belarus is activated

Meanwhile, the Belarusian Ministry of Defense reported that it, known as a regional military group created last year by Moscow and Minsk, has intensified its training after the increase in the number of troops and war material.

“The intensity of the exercises continues to increase. The objective is to be ready to repel the aggressor on all fronts. The preparation of the regional military group is taking place practically without pauses,” the ministerial television channel VoenTV reported.

The joint training takes into account “the experience received by Russian soldiers during the special military operation” in Ukraine, it added.

Minsk has acknowledged the arrival in its territory of new railway convoys with Russian troops and military equipment, two of which would have arrived this week with some 1,500 men in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk, according to the independent press.

Recently, the secretary of the Security Council of Belarus, Alexandr V√≥lfovich, assured that this contingent has “exclusively defensive objectives and its mission is, above all, the defense of the western borders of the Russia-Belarus State Union.”

To this we must add that Minsk today announced joint tactical air maneuvers from January 16 to February 1, for which the Russian squadron would have already landed in Belarusian territory.

All airfields and ranges of the Belarusian Air Force and air defense forces will be used in such exercises.

However, the Ukrainian authorities have so far ruled out an offensive from Belarusian territory similar to the one in February last year.

another parallel 38

Regarding possible peace negotiations with Russia, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, ruled out the Korean option that the Kremlin’s emissaries were supposedly proposing to Europe.

“Now they are offering us the Korean variant. The one known as ‘Parallel 38’. Some Ukrainians here and others there. The Russians can now invent whatever they want,” he said on Sunday.

When arguing his rejection of such an option, Danilov assured that he had talked about it with the South Koreans, who now consider that accepting the division of the peninsula (1953) into two parts through that parallel line “was a gross mistake.”

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In turn, he stressed that there are “many signs” that the conflict is entering a “clear activation phase”, one of which is the agreement between Russia and Iran to manufacture suicide drones on Russian territory.

In this regard, the Ukrainian high command suspects that Moscow intends to mobilize another 500,000 reservists in the coming months. EFE