The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged on Tuesday that 89 soldiers were killed in the Ukrainian attack on Makiivka and added that the main reason for the offensive was the unauthorized use of mobile phones by the troops, which revealed the exact position of the troops. russians.
"It is obvious that the main reason for what happened was the ignition and massive use - contrary to the established - by the military of mobile phones in a range area of enemy weapons," the ministry said in a statement.
"This factor allowed the enemy to track and determine the coordinates of the location of the soldiers for a missile attack," the letter continued.
The Ukrainian attack shortly after midnight on New Year's Day on a school-turned-military barracks in Makiivka has sparked anger among Russian nationalists and some lawmakers, questioning the military strategy used there. Russia previously said that 63 Russian soldiers were killed.
The Defense Ministry said four rockets from US-made HIMARS launchers hit the building, adding that "due to the detonation of the HIMARS rocket warheads, the roof of the building collapsed."
The same ministry added in a statement posted on Telegram that a commission is investigating the circumstances of the attack.
The ministry also suggested that, in return, it launched airstrikes launched at a "hardware concentration" near the Druzhkivka train station in Donetsk, killing up to 200 Ukrainian personnel and destroying four HIMARS launchers and more than 800 rockets. However, Reuters has not been able to independently verify the report.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said on Tuesday that two people were injured in the attack on Druzhkivka, which destroyed an ice hockey stadium.