HIMARS strike on Donetsk kills 60 Russian soldiers: BBC

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Web Desk
Ukrainian servicemen fire a Partyzan small multiple rocket launch system toward Russian troops near a front line in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine November 7, 2023. — Reuters
Ukrainian servicemen fire a Partyzan small multiple rocket launch system toward Russian troops near a front line in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine November 7, 2023. — Reuters

As many as 60 Russian soldiers were killed in a Moscow-controlled area of eastern Ukraine as two HIMARS missile strikes hit a training center, according to a BBC report published Wednesday, hours before President Vladimir Putin met with his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in the Kremlin.

The report citing sources said that the Russian soldiers were at the site in Donetsk as Maj-Gen Oleg Moiseyev, commander of the 29th Army of the Eastern military region was arriving at a training area near the village of Trudovske.

Russia also confirmed the incident of missile strikes but termed the death toll "grossly exaggerated."

The attack also came after the Russian forces took control of the strategic Ukrainian town of Avdiivka.

The report noted that the group of soldiers hit was the 36th Motorised Rifle Brigade, normally based in the Transbaikal region of Siberia.

A purported video of a surviving soldier said in the recording after the attack that the brigade's commanders had made them stand in an open field.

Transbaikal governor Alexander Osipov indirectly confirmed the strike in his Telegram channel, but said that the reports about it were "inaccurate and grossly exaggerated", saying “full and accurate information would be provided to the families of all the soldiers involved.”

"No one will be left without help or support," he added.

Ukrainian authorities have yet to release an official statement on the incident.

The victory of Avdiivka, once home to 32,000 residents, marks Putin's most significant battlefield achievement since the capture of Bakhmut in May 2023.

Television footage released by Russia's defence ministry depicted the aftermath, with almost every house in Avdiivka bearing the scars of war. President Putin, praising the overall success in Avdiivka, emphasised the need for a well-prepared and equipped continuation of their advances.

Despite the Ukrainian military's withdrawal to prevent complete encirclement after months of fierce fighting, casualties were reported, and both sides claimed substantial losses.