Russia claims deadly rocket attack on Ukrainian barracks, Kyiv denies anyone was killed
Nina Gonchar, 93, and her son Mykola Gonchar, 58, sit in their house that was mostly destroyed by Russian forces on January 7 in the recently retaken village of Bogorodychne, the Ukraine Evgeniy Maloletka/The Associated Press
The Russian military on Sunday claimed to have carried out deadly rocket attacks on barracks used by Ukrainian troops in retaliation for the death of dozens of Russian soldiers in a rocket attack a week ago. Ukrainian officials denied there were any casualties.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said its missiles hit two makeshift bases housing 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers in Kramatorsk in the eastern Donetsk region, killing 600 of them. Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the attacks were in retaliation for Ukraine’s attack in Makiivka, which left at least 89 Russian soldiers dead.
Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesman for Ukraine’s armed forces in the east, told The Associated Press that the Russian attacks on Kramatorsk only damaged civilian infrastructure, adding: “Ukraine’s armed forces were not affected. “
The Donetsk regional administration said seven Russian missiles hit Kramatorsk and two more Konstantynivka without causing casualties. In Kramatorsk, an educational institution, an industrial plant and garages were damaged, and in Kostyantynivka an industrial zone was hit.
Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko said two school buildings and eight apartment buildings were hit overnight, and photos he released showed no signs of major damage.
In the early hours of January 1, Ukrainian forces fired rockets at a facility in Makiivka, also in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian soldiers were stationed, killing dozens of them in one of the deadliest deadly attacks on Kremlin forces since the war began more than 10 months ago.
Also on Sunday, the Ukrainian military claimed to have attacked a medical university dormitory in Ruishne, a town in the Russian-held eastern Luhansk region, killing 14 Russian soldiers who were there. The number of injured is unknown, he said.
Elsewhere in the east, Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said one person was killed and eight others wounded in strikes on Bakhmut.
In the northeastern Kharkiv region, the town of Merefa was hit overnight, killing one person, and two other settlements in the region were razed, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.
The latest developments come after Russian forces ended a partially-held ceasefire, which coincided with Saturday’s Orthodox Christmas celebrations.
Russia and Ukraine exchanged prisoners on Sunday, 50 from each side, according to Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, and Andriy Yermak, the chief of the Ukrainian President’s office.