Sunday, April 21, 2024

Scores of Russian Soldiers Killed in Ukrainian Strike on Training Site

HomeWARScores of Russian Soldiers Killed in Ukrainian Strike on Training Site

Horrific Footage Emerges After Missiles Hit Base Where Troops Were Assembled

KYIV, Ukraine — At least 60 Russian soldiers were killed early Thursday when missiles slammed into a military training site in occupied eastern Ukraine where troops had gathered, according to accounts from survivors and grim videos circulating online.

The strike, which Ukraine has not officially confirmed, targeted the village of Trudovske in the Donetsk region held by Moscow’s forces. Harrowing footage verified by The New York Times showed dozens of dead Russian soldiers strewn across a field after the attack.

Survivors who recorded video in the aftermath said the site was hit by two missiles from an American-made HIMARS mobile rocket launcher, a crucial weapon that Ukraine’s military has been using with devastating effect.

The attack took place just hours before President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met with his defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, who claimed Russian forces had made gains on several fronts despite the horrendous losses at Trudovske.

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The village sits at a strategic crossroads in Donetsk, a region that Russia has waged a bloody campaign to annex from Ukraine. Donetsk and three other provinces that President Putin declared were part of Russia in September have seen some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The 60-plus deaths at the training site would add to already staggering Russian military casualties. The BBC recently confirmed over 45,000 Russian troops have died since the invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago, including over 6,600 just since October. The pace of Russian deaths has sharply accelerated in recent months as Ukraine has gone on the offensive.

According to the videos and reports of the strike at Trudovske, members of Russia’s 36th motorized rifle brigade had gathered, apparently to await the arrival of a senior commander, Maj. Gen. Oleg Moiseyev. Instead, two missiles struck the site.

The commanders made us stand out in an open field,” a surviving Russian soldier says in one horrifying video surveying the carnage. Bodies can be seen scattered all around.

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Russia has often kept its military losses under wraps, but some pro-Russian military bloggers and war correspondents have publicly detailed casualties despite official secrecy. One prominent blogger named Andrey Morozov who wrote about massive losses reportedly killed himself in recent days after he said he had been ordered to take down an article about Russian deaths.

The Russian war effort has been plagued by poor tactics, low morale, and inadequate training and equipment for troops sent to the front. The Kremlin’s censorship of bad news and crackdown on dissent have left many soldiers fighting confused about the rationale for the invasion and unaware of the true human toll.

Scenes like those at Trudovske drive home the immense and needless suffering Moscow’s war has inflicted on regular Russian soldiers and their families. As the deaths mount, Mr. Putin has shown no sign of relenting in his drive to conquer more Ukrainian land through sheer attrition of lives.

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Ukrainian forces, armed with precision Western weapons like HIMARS, have sought to gain advantage by striking Russian troop concentrations and logistics hubs far behind the front lines. Such barrages can disrupt Russia’s ability to prepare and supply forces for new offensives.

With Russia contending with crippling battlefield losses, Mr. Shoigu claimed progress during the meeting with Mr. Putin, boasting of the recent capture of Avdiivka. But even if that small town did change hands, Ukraine’s military likely continues to steadily degrade Moscow’s fighting capabilities through creative targeting of its positions.

The horror at Trudovske spotlights the immense human costs of Mr. Putin’s failing and flawed invasion of Ukraine, now well into its second bloody year. His relentless pursuit of land seizures in the face of mounting corpses raises grave questions about how much longer Russians will accept such a pointless slaughter.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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