A school in Ukraine doesn’t believe that Russian troops were killed there. Russian allegations that hundreds of Ukrainian troops were killed in a missile strike at a vocational school in an eastern Ukrainian city were debunked on Monday by officials at the school, who said that a rocket had just blown out windows and damaged classrooms.
During the nearly eleven-month conflict, the Kramatorsk Vocational School was singled out as a target by Russia. It was reported late Saturday night that 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed after Russian missiles struck two temporary sites housing 1,300 Ukrainian troops in the city.
On Monday, when Associated Press journalists visited the area, the weather was clear, and they found a four-story concrete building with most of its windows blown out. Residents were scooping up shards of glass and throwing pieces of furniture into the missile crater below as they cleaned up the mess.
There was a second six-story school building that was largely unharmed. The Ukrainian troops did not leave any visible footprints, and no one was hurt.
The school’s deputy director, Yana Pristupa, was dismissive of Moscow’s assertions that they had struck a troop concentration.
‘Nobody saw a single speck of blood anywhere,’ she told the AP. That no one was seen transporting bodies yesterday was evident to everyone. People are simply picking up after themselves.
According to her, more than 300 students were enrolled in mechanical engineering classes at the institution before the war broke out in February. Most of the courses were moved online after Russia’s invasion.
She said, “What a magnificent facility that was,” and the students “are now in shock.”
On Sunday, Ukrainian officials promptly refuted Russian accusations that they had suffered heavy military casualties in the attack.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, said that accounts had not shaken senior leaders’ faith in defense authorities from the site despite the lack of evidence.
According to comments made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in a conference call with reporters on Monday, the Defense Ministry is the primary, legitimate, and thorough source of information on the status of the extraordinary military operation.
Many hundreds of soldiers on both sides have been killed in attacks. Fighting makes it challenging to verify the statements independently.
However, several Russian military bloggers have condemned Moscow’s accusations, suggesting that Moscow’s actions may have backfired at home.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, the bloggers “responded adversely to the Russian (Ministry of Defense’s) assertion, pointing out that the Russian MoD regularly produces fake claims and criticizes Russian military leadership for creating a story” in response to the losses.
According to Moscow, at least 89 Russian servicemen were killed on New Year’s Eve when Ukrainian forces attacked their temporary barracks in Makiivka. A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said the attacks on Kramatorsk were reprisal for this action. The death toll in Ukraine was reported to be in the hundreds.
It was a humiliating defeat for the Kremlin and one of the worst attacks on its men since the war began over ten months ago.
Such acts of vengeance have been seen before. During the early days of October, Ukraine attacked a bridge connecting the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula with Russia, damaging a vital supply artery for the Kremlin’s faltering war effort in southern Ukraine and hitting a key symbol of Russian power in the region. In response, the Kremlin launched the first massive barrage against Ukraine’s energy facilities. It was touted as revenge for the bridge attack and launched a period of unrelenting bombardments against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
On Monday, the Ukrainian government’s deputy minister of defense announced that Russian forces had begun a new offensive towards the town of Solar in the eastern Donetsk area. By capturing Soledar, Russia could ramp up its operations in the strategically significant city of Bakhmut, where fierce combat has destroyed an estimated 60% of the buildings.
On Monday, the Ukrainian presidential administration said that shelling in nine southeastern areas had killed at least three people and injured twelve others over the previous 24 hours.
On Monday, Ukrainian officials said that a Russian missile strike had killed two people and wounded five others, including a 13-year-old girl, in a rural market in the region of Kharkiv’s northeast.
Regional Administration of Kharkiv Gov. According to Oleh Syniehubov, the settlement of Shevchenkove was bombed. Images posted to his Telegram channel depicted burned-out pavilions amidst piles of rubble.
Officials in Ukraine have stated that more people may be buried under the debris. An effort to locate them for rescue purposes was already underway.
Russia insists it is not just fighting the Ukrainians but the entire military force of NATO.
In an interview released on Monday, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, reiterated this point, claiming that “the events in Ukraine aren’t a fight between Moscow and Kyiv, it’s a military confrontation between NATO, and particularly the U.S. and Britain with Russia.”
Patrushev said in an interview with Argumenty I Fakty that the sooner Ukrainians “realize that the West is attacking Russia with their fists,” the more lives would be saved.
Meanwhile, two U.K. citizens serving as volunteers in eastern Ukraine have disappeared, the Ukrainian national police announced Monday.
The two men, identified by authorities as Andrew Bagshaw and Christopher Perry, were last heard from Friday when they left Kramatorsk towards Soledar, where significant combat has been reported.
According to media outlets in his home country, Bagshaw, a Kiwi, was in Ukraine helping to distribute relief.