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Nearly 100 Russian Soldiers Killed in Makiivka Strike, BBC Russian Confirms

A local resident clears the rubble after a Ukrainian missile strike on the building of a vocational school in Makiivka. Valentin Sprinchak / TASS

More Russian soldiers were killed than officially confirmed in Ukraine’s New Year’s Day strike on a temporary barracks in Russian-occupied Makiivka, the BBC Russian service reported Wednesday.

BBC Russian journalists used open-source data to verify the identities of 92 Russian soldiers killed in the strike, the outlet said.

Another 16 soldiers who were at the makeshift barracks in the eastern Ukrainian town at the time of the attack remain unaccounted for.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has conceded the deaths of 89 troops, the highest single reported loss since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, while blaming the soldiers for inadvertently giving away their location to Ukrainian forces.

Relatives cited by BBC Russian said most of the slain soldiers had been called up as part of President Vladimir Putin’s “partial” mobilization last fall. 

They spent the following two months training in central Russia’s Samara region and were deployed to Makiivka on Dec. 26, less than a week before the Ukrainian attack.

Funerals for the mobilized soldiers in Makiivka began on Jan. 7 and continued over the following days.

Overall, BBC Russian said more than 12,200 soldiers have been confirmed killed in the 11 months since they were ordered to invade Ukraine.

The Russian military last updated its death toll for the war in Ukraine in September 2022, when it said fewer than 6,000 soldiers had been killed.

BBC Russian, in cooperation with the independent Mediazona news website, uses official statements, social networks and media reports — in addition to volunteers who monitor cemeteries across scores of Russian towns and villages — to compile its tally of soldiers killed in Ukraine.

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