Russia claims ‘retaliation’ missile strike kills 600 Ukraine soldiers; Kremlin braces for offensive

USA TODAY

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed it conducted a “retaliation” rocket attack Sunday that killed 600 Ukrainian troops housed in Kramatorsk in the hotly contested Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. The Ukraine military had no immediate comment on the claim. “As a result of a massive missile attack on these points of temporary deployment of units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, more than 600 Ukrainian servicemen were killed,” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry said the attack was in retaliation for a Ukraine attack last week on buildings housing Russian soldiers in Makiivka, about 60 miles south Kramatorsk. That strike killed 89 Russian servicemembers, the Kremlin said; Ukraine authorities estimated the death toll was much higher. The attack came hours after the end of a partially observed, 36-hour unilateral cease-fire Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered to mark Russian Orthodox Christmas.

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