On the night of December 31 to January 1, Russia launched a new attack on critical infrastructure around Kyiv and seven other Ukrainian regions. According to the authorities, the number of these strikes was four dead and fifty wounded. During the day, other sites, a priori industrial, were also attacked, notably by Iranian-made Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones.
“Russian forces conducted a long-range precision attack against Ukrainian defense industry facilities involved in the manufacture of attack drones used to carry out terrorist attacks against Russia,” Moscow later claimed.
Only the Ukrainian answer will not be long in coming. Indeed, on the same day, a key Russian military base was attacked in Makiivka near Donetsk, the capital of the region of the same name, annexed by Russia in September 2022. And the toll is particularly heavy on the Russian General Staff, as they noted on January 2nd.
So, according to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, “four missiles” [sur les six auraient été tirés] reached a “temporary operations center” in Makiivka. And to report the death of at least 63 soldiers recently reservists mobilized a priori in Russia.
According to Moscow, this attack was carried out using an M142 HIMARS system supplied by the United States to the Ukrainian army. This multiple rocket launcher can effectively fire six GDRMS-guided surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 80km [ou un missile ATACMS – pour Army Tactical Missile System – que Washington a refusé de livrer à Kiev]. In any case, General Konashenkov assured, “the families and loved ones of the killed soldiers will receive all necessary help and support.”
Girkin on the Makiivka incident – Hundreds of victims, many still under the rubble. The building that housed them also contained an ammunition dump and vehicle storage facility, which is why the strike was so deadly.https://t.co/9zGYWVIvM1 pic.twitter.com/tJa0lM7X0h
— Dmitry (@war translated) January 2, 2023
However, the toll of this strike could be much higher than Moscow admits, some sources speak of several hundred deaths… This is the case of Igor Girkin [alais Strelkov], a short-lived Defense Minister of the separatist Donetsk Republic who became a generally well-informed “blogger” on military affairs. And this to explain the large number of dead from the presence of ammunition stockpiles on the site…
At least that’s what the Ukrainian General Staff claimed. “On December 31, up to 10 units of enemy military equipment of various types were destroyed or damaged,” he said via social networks. And to specify that the assessment of the losses inflicted on the Russian army is “still in progress”.
According to a TASS agency source, the Ukrainian strike would have been facilitated by the intensive use of mobile phones by the Russian soldiers who had just arrived in Makiivka, which would have enabled their geolocation. Which is plausible… And because of this, operational security measures [SECOPS] aimed at restricting the use of these devices are being seized by Western armed forces…. At least in theory…
Photo: M142 HIMARS