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Ukrainian Strike Kills Scores Of Russian Troops

In a deadly attack on New Year’s Day, Ukrainians used American-made long-range HIMARS rockets to kill dozens — and perhaps hundreds — of Moscow’s troops in the occupied city of Makiivka, in eastern Ukraine. The strike prompted outraged Russian war hawks to accuse their military of lethal incompetence. The attack killed 63 troops in a building housing them, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. A former Russian paramilitary commander in Ukraine, Igor Girkin, wrote that “many hundreds” were dead and wounded. Ukrainian military officials said it appeared that “about 400” Russian troops had been killed, though they did not explicitly take responsibility for the attack. None of the claims could be independently verified, but even the lowest number would represent one of the worst Russian losses in a single episode in the war, and an embarrassment for Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader. Pro-war Russian bloggers and some government officials said the debacle was caused by the military’s own mistakes. More than 10 months after an invasion that many expected would produce a quick Russian victory, each side has suffered more than 100,000 killed and wounded, by Western estimates, and the war has become one of attrition, with no evidence of an end in sight.

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