Jan 8 (Reuters) – Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday it had killed more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers in a massive rocket attack on two buildings in eastern Ukraine temporarily housing Ukrainian forces.
Reuters could not immediately verify the Defense Department’s claim. There was no immediate comment on the Russian claim from Ukraine, although the mayor of Kramatorsk, the eastern Ukrainian city that Russia attacked, said on Facebook earlier Sunday that no one was killed in an attack on various buildings in the city.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the strike on Kramatorsk buildings was revenge for a deadly Ukrainian attack earlier this year on a Russian barracks in Makiivka, in a part of Donetsk region controlled by Moscow’s forces, that killed at least 89 soldiers.
The ministry said in a statement it used so-called reliable intelligence agencies to target the Ukrainian troops. It said more than 700 Ukrainian soldiers were housed in one hostel and more than 600 in another.
“As a result of a massive rocket attack on these temporary bases of Ukrainian army units, more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed,” the Defense Ministry said.
If true, it would be the largest loss of Ukrainian troops since Russia invaded on February 24 last year.
writing by Andrew Osborn; Edited by Frank Jack Daniel
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