Russia’s military leaders face calls for punishment after losing dozens of troops in one of the deadliest attacks yet launched by Ukraine.
The Kremlin’s defence ministry made a rare admission yesterday that at least 63 soldiers were killed in a single attack on a temporary barracks in a former college in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk on New Year’s Eve.
Ukrainian officials earlier claimed to have killed as many as 400 Russians.
Russia’s commanders came under harsh criticism at home from irate military observers after the Kremlin’s rare admission.
A popular Russian nationalist military blogger said the deaths were a result of storing ammunition in the same building as a barracks despite commanders knowing it was within range of a Ukrainian military bolstered by munitions from Western nations.
The anger extended to politicians. Andrey Medvedev, deputy speaker of the Moscow City Duma and a pro-Kremlin journalist, said authorities must value Russian lives.
“Either a person is of the highest value and then punish for stupid losses of personnel, as for treason to the fatherland or the country is over,” Mr Medvedev said.
Shelling near Bakhmut sparks fire
07:42 , Liam James
Russian shelling in the Ivanivka village near Bakhmut sparked a fire in a private building.
Heavy fighting is taking place in the area of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
Bakhmut is still without heating, electricity, and gas due to repeated shelling.
Critical Russian bloggers slam military strategy in Makiivka: ‘Horrible’
06:20 , Arpan Rai
The Russian bloggers tracking the war in Ukraine came down heavily on the failures of Moscow’s military strategy in the aftermath of the blast in Makiivka which killed at least 63 Russian soldiers in one attack.
“Hundreds had been killed or wounded in the blast. Ammunition had been stored at the site and military equipment there was uncamouflaged,” said Igor Girkin, former commander of pro-Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine and now the top most Russian nationalist military blogger.
Another Russian military blogger Archangel Spetznaz Zi with more than 700,000 followers on the Telegram termed the attack on barracks in Makiivka “horrible”.
“Who came up with the idea to place personnel in large numbers in one building, where even a fool understands that even if they hit with artillery, there will be many wounded or dead?” he wrote. Commanders “couldn’t care less” about ammunition stored in disarray on the battlefield, he said.
Ukrainian refugee’s fears for mother stuck in Kyiv as he struggles to find UK home
06:03 , Arpan Rai
A Ukrainian refugee fears for the safety of his elderly mother, stuck in Ukraine without regular heat or light, as he struggles to find help for her in the UK.
Serhii Zhelieznov fled the city of Bucha with his wife, Iryna, and his youngest daughter, Yeva, and their dog, at the start of the war.
They found their way to Aberdeen, Scotland in September, having travelled through Germany, Austria and Poland.
Refugee fears for mother, 78, stuck in Ukraine as he struggles to find her help in Uk
Ice arena destroyed in missile attack in Donetsk
05:34 , Arpan Rai
A Russian attack has destroyed an ice arena in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, officials said after a missile hit the town and injured two people.
Officials from the Ukraine’s ice hockey federation said: “So it is that since the start of the war, the Russian occupiers have destroyed five ice stadiums.”
They identified the five ice stadiums at the Druzhba venue in Donetsk, arenas in Mariupol and Melitopol, the Ice Palace in Sievierodonetsk and now the Altair arena in Druzhkivka.
The venues were “more than just a building”, the club’s general manager Fedor Ilyyenko said in a Facebook post, adding that these stadiums hosted “hundreds of children’s competitions, dozens of international tournaments, children’s smiles ”.
More than 80 drones shot down in 48 hours, say Zelensky
04:49 , Arpan Rai
Ukrainian forces have shot down more than 80 drones since Sunday, Volodymyr Zelensky said, alerting people of more drone strikes.
“Only two days have passed since the beginning of the year, and the number of Iranian drones shot down over Ukraine is already more than eighty,” Mr Zelensky said.
He added: “This number may increase in the near future. Because these weeks the nights can be quite restless.”
Putin accused of using same woman in multiple photo-ops
04:44 , Arpan Rai
Vladimir Putin has been accused of using the same people to pose in different roles during presidential photo opportunities.
A series of keen-eyed critics recognised the faces of several people who appeared to feature in a number of official photographs with the Russian leader – posing as military personnel, sailors, and solemn worshippers.
The matter was first raised on social media by Belarussian journalist Tadeusz Giczan, who posted three photographs of the president standing with groups of people at three separate events.
Putin accused of using same woman in multiple photo-ops
Zelensky warns of prolonged attack by ‘Shaheds’
04:30 , Arpan Rai
Volodymyr Zelensky has warned of a looming drone attack from Russian forces, accusing Moscow of counting on exhaustion of Ukrainian defences along with the people trapped in the 11-month-long war.
“We have information that Russia is planning a prolonged attack with “Shaheds”. Its bet may be on exhaustion. On exhaustion of our people, our air defence, our energy sector,” he said in his nightly address.
He added: “But we must ensure – and we will do everything for this – that this goal of terrorists fails like all the others.”
Scores of Russian troops killed in Ukraine missile strike
04:09 , Arpan Rai
Dozens of Russian troops have been killed in an attack on a complex in the Donetsk region, officials have said.
This is one of the deadliest strikes against Vladimir Putin’s forces since the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
In a rare acknowledgement of the scale of the attack on New Year’s eve, Russia‘s defence ministry claimed it lost 63 troops when Ukraine hit “a temporary deployment facility” in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Makiivka with four US-supplied Himars missiles. The message appeared to counter claims from Kyiv that hundreds of soldiers had been killed in the assault.
Scores of Russian troops killed in one of deadliest strikes against Putin’s forces
03:40 , Arpan Rai
Good morning, welcome to our coverage of the Ukraine war on 3 January, Tuesday.
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