1672684067 Russia says barracks hit by Ukrainian attack as it targets

Russia says barracks hit by Ukrainian attack as it targets Kyiv with drones

Moscow said a Ukrainian airstrike hit an army barracks in the Russian-held town of Makiivka in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 63 people as it continued to target Kyiv with drones.

Four high-explosive warheads hit the Makiivka temporary operational base, while two were shot down by Russian air defenses, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Monday. The school building used as barracks stood near an ammunition depot and a weapons store.

Russian military bloggers said hundreds of newly mobilized Russian troops had died or were missing. Despite not recognizing the strike, the Ukrainian military indicated in a Telegram post that the Makiivka attack killed 400 Russian soldiers and wounded 300.

The bloggers called the event a disaster and called for punishment for commanders who made the decision to place such a large number of troops in an unprotected building.

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The airstrike shows the damage western-supplied Himars missiles can inflict on Russian forces, which were forced to retreat in the face of Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the east and south last year. But it also underscores the poor tactical judgment of Russian army commanders, analysts say.

Rob Lee, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in the US, commented on Twitter: “One of the problems with relying on mobilized soldiers is that they are more difficult to disperse due to the lack of small unit leadership. . . But putting them next to an ammo dump is just a failure of leadership.”

Meanwhile, Russia extended a three-day streak of attacks on Ukraine’s civilian and military infrastructure by firing 39 drones at the capital on Monday morning. All drones were destroyed, the Ukrainian Air Force said. “Anti-aircraft missile units, Luftwaffe fighter jets and mobile fire groups were involved in repelling the attack,” it said.

Since October, Russia has been conducting regular airstrikes against Ukrainian infrastructure as its ground military operation has stalled following Ukrainian counter-offensives.

However, Russia’s airstrikes have become less frequent in intensity as Moscow has begun to run out of cruise missile stocks, according to military officials. In a change of tactics aimed at swamping Ukraine’s air defenses, Moscow has instead turned to Iran-supplied drones, which are cheaper to use, albeit easier to shoot down.

“Russia has enough missiles left for two massive attacks on Ukraine,” Ukrainian spy chief Kyrylo Budanov said in a wide-ranging interview on Ukrainian television at the end of the year. “They reduce the number by [maintain] the intensity of these missile attacks.”

A Western-provided air defense system known as NASAMs played a central role in defending the capital, according to the Ukrainian Air Force. Western countries have large stockpiles of the Aim-120 missiles used by NASAMs, but they cost about $1 million each, compared to the less than $20,000 cost of the Iran-supplied Shahed drones.

Ukraine reportedly launched two aerial drone strikes on Russian territory overnight.

Alexander Bogomaz, governor of Russia’s Bryansk region, said that “a Ukrainian drone” landed in the early hours of March 2.

Russia says barracks hit by Ukrainian attack as it targets

According to reports, Ukrainian kamikaze drones also bombed the Baltimore air base in Voronezh, another 160 km inside Russia. according to social media reports.

The attack, which has not been confirmed by Ukrainian authorities, follows a pattern of other cross-border drone attacks on Russian military installations.

Ukrainian officials have refrained from commenting on such attacks, such as the dramatic early December attack on Engels airfield near Saratov in southern Russia, some 600 km from the Ukrainian border.

But Budanov, who heads Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, said in a recent interview that while he would not confirm that Ukraine is attacking military airfields in Russia, he believes such attacks are likely “go deeper and deeper” within the country.