Just days into 2023, Russia was already facing significant obstacles and could face more fighting later in January.
According to the Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, an attack by Ukraine on New Year’s Eve resulted in the deaths of several Russian soldiers. Around 400 Russian soldiers were killed and another 300 injured, the report said, citing Ukrainian forces.
Russia has admitted that the strike took place, but the number of casualties was significantly smaller. Russian state news agency Tass, citing the country’s defense ministry, said 63 Russian soldiers were killed in the attack.
“The Kiev regime hit the temporary deployment point of one of the units of the Russian Armed Forces with six rockets from the US-made HIMARS multiple missile system,” the statement said. The strike occurred in Makiivka, the report said, in a Russian-controlled part of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.
Newsweek has not been able to independently verify Ukraine’s or Russia’s official figures.
The wreckage of a car marked with the Russian military symbol “Z” stands at a Russian military base that Ukrainian forces destroyed using HIMARS missiles during a counter-offensive September 26, 2022 in Balakliia in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region. Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images
Moreover, according to a tweet by Iikka Korhonen, head of the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies, about Russian stock indexes, Russia could soon face new economic struggles.
The RTS, an index of 50 Russian stocks on the Moscow Stock Exchange, fell 39 percent, Korhonen said. Oil and gas fell 34 percent, consumer goods and services 32 percent and financials 44 percent, the figures showed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently boasted about the success of his armed forces and the difficulties faced by their Russian counterparts.
In a video address on New Year’s Day, he said: “Russian terrorists were pathetic and they came out unchanged this year. Our defenders were great and on January 1 they showed themselves very well.”
“You know, these days you’ve clearly seen how far we’ve gotten mentally and humanely away from what Russia is ‘cooking’,” he said. “Our sense of unity, authenticity, life itself, all contrasts dramatically with the fear that reigns in Russia.”
“You are scared. You can feel it and you are right to be afraid. Because they lose. Drones, missiles, anything else won’t help them. Because we are together and they are only together with fear,” Zelenskyy said.
“They will not take a single year from Ukraine, they will not take away our independence,” he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has not responded to Newsweek’s request for comment.