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Tags: russia | ukraine | missile | strike | donetsk | deaths | new years day

Russia Blames Cellphones, US HIMARS for 89 Deaths After Ukraine Attack

By    |   Wednesday, 04 January 2023 08:29 AM EST

Russia blamed the deadly New Year's Day missile strike on cellphone usage by military personnel that allowed Ukraine to locate the target.

Ukraine said its army killed 400 Russian soldiers and wounded 300 in a massive holiday missile attack on the occupied Donetsk region.

Russia's defense ministry, however, said the strike killed 89 servicemen at a college for conscripts in Makiivka, Donetsk, and blamed the destruction on four rockets from U.S.-made HIMARS launchers.

The 89 deaths represented the largest number of fatalities Russia has acknowledged in the war, BBC reported.

"A committee is currently working to investigate the circumstances of the incident," the defense ministry said in a statement. "But it is already clear now that the main cause of the incident was the inclusion and mass use, contrary to the ban, of cell phones by military personnel within the range of the enemy's weapon systems.

"This factor allowed the enemy to track and determine the coordinates of the soldiers' locations for the missile strike."

Lt. Gen. Sergei Sevryukov said that Russian officials who are found responsible would be brought to justice and "all the necessary measures are currently being adopted to prevent this kind of tragic incident in the future."

Russia said that six rockets were fired from a HIMARS rocket system one second after midnight on Sunday, and two of the rockets were shot down, BBC reported.

The defense ministry said Lt. Col. Bachurin, deputy commander of the regiment, was among those killed.

The BBC said Russia's statement was "striking" for two reasons:

  1. The military's official death total (89) surpassed the previous high (63) since the war began. Unofficial Russian sources joined Ukraine officials in saying the real death toll in Makiivka could be much higher.
  2. Saying that "responsible officials" would be brought to justice suggests that something went wrong — a rare admission from the Kremlin.

Despite the death total, the missile strike was not highlighted by Russian media outlets, BBC reported.

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Newsfront
Russia blamed the deadly New Year's Day missile strike on cellphone usage by military personnel that allowed Ukraine to locate the target.
russia, ukraine, missile, strike, donetsk, deaths, new years day, cellphones, military personnel
325
2023-29-04
Wednesday, 04 January 2023 08:29 AM
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