Emergency workers remove rubble from a vocational school, used as a Russian military barracks, destroyed by Ukrainian rockets in Makiivka in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine, January 1, 2022 (RIA Novosti)

Monday’s Coverage: Russia Fires More Attack Drones on Kyiv

Source: Institute for the Study of War


Ukrainian troops have raised the national flag on Velikyi Potyomkinskyi Island in southern Ukraine.

The island is in the estuary of the Dnipro River, southwest of Kherson city.

Military spokesman Nataliia Humeniuk indicated that fighting is ongoing.


Speaking to his Wagner Group mercenaries near the frontline, Vladimir Putin’s ally Yevgeny Prigozhin admits that their months-long assault on Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine is failing to make any progress.

A “break through the defenses” means: You took a house today.

And there’s still a new defense behind these houses, right? And there is not only one defense. How many do we have here? If you say 500, you probably can’t go wrong.

UK military intelligence assessed on Tuesday that Russia is unlikely to make a significant breakthrough in the Bakhmut area in the Donetsk region.

The analysts, echoing the US-based Institute for the Study of War, explained that Russian units are only operation at the level of platoons of about 15 troops.

Prigozhin — possibly trying to establish his position in rivalry with others like Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu over conduct of the war and influence within the Kremlin — was also filmed visiting a basement filled with the bodies of his fighters.

With bodies on stretchers, in body bags, and stacked shoulder-high in the corner of the room, Prigozhin said:

Their contract has finished, they will go home next week. These are getting ready to be sent….

Here lie Wagner fighters who died at the front. They are now being put in zinc coffins and they will return home.


The Ukrainian military says it killed and wounded 500 Russian troops in a New Year’s Eve attack on occupied Chulakivka in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Chulakivka is 57 km (35 miles) south of Kherson city on the east bank of the Dnipro River.

There has been no corroboration so far of the claim.


A scene from the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine….


The latest Russian attacks on liberated areas of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine have killed two people and injured nine.

Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich reported 79 shells, with damage to a car dealership, a utility company, and apartment buildings.


In his nightly address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that waves of Russian missile and drone attacks, while having diminishing effects, are “probably banking on exhaustion. Exhausting our people, our anti-aircraft defences, our energy.”

He said Ukrainians must “act and do everything so that the terrorists fail in their aim, as all their others have failed”.

Russia carried out four waves of attacks between Thursday and Monday. However, unlike the earlier assaults since October 10, the effect on energy infrastructure was limited.

Saturday’s attack with dozens of missiles and drones inflicted no serious damage, and all 72 Iran-made drones fired on Sunday and Monday were downed.


Russian troops who survived the New Year Day’s destruction of their barracks in Makiivka in occupied eastern Ukraine are speaking out about the attack.

“We are cleaning their brains off our boots,” said one survivor.

Relatives of two mobilised men confirmed that four HIMARS rockets hit the building with about 400 men inside it. Some soldiers escaped after the first missile hit, leaving through basement.

But relatives passed on troops’ accounts of a death toll far higher than the official figure of 63 from the Russian Defense Ministry. A soldier’s wife said:

Indeed, there are many dead….Many were torn apart to such an extent that there was practically nothing left of the bodies.

The survivors, “walking around naked in flip flops”, were taken to a hospital in Russia’s Rostov region. Troops and their relatives posted:

There is nothing: no things, no medicines, no money, no food … It’s just awful….

All company property has been destroyed, we are bare-assed….People only have left what they were wearing, there is nothing more.

The troops are also speculating that the Ukrainian military received information about the location of the barracks from local “spotters”, rather than from the Russians’ use of cellphones.

Makiivka is a small town, next to Donetsk and accordingly, everyone can see who and what has arrived in the compound. Especially when it’s a lot of fighters and equipment. Even there, not everyone is pro-Russian.

They note, “Last summer the headquarters of a tank battalion in Horlivka was smashed to rubble by a similar flight [of rockets].”

ORIGINAL ENTRY: A Ukrainian rocket strike has killed up to 400 Russian troops in a destroyed barracks in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine.

Four US-supplied rockets struck the converted vocational school building, in occupied Makiiva in the Donetsk region, early New Year’s Day.

The Ukrainian military put the death toll at up to 400. The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged at least 63 fatalities.

With the HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), supplied from last summer by Washington, the Ukrainian military has been carrying out a series of attacks on Russian bases, ammunition depots, and supply and logistic positions in southern and eastern Ukraine.

Last month, scores of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries were reportedly slain in the destruction of a converted hotel in Kadiivka in the Luhansk region in the east.

The Ukraine General Staff said in a statement on Monday that “up to 10 units of enemy military equipment of various types were destroyed and damaged in the area of concentration in the settlement of Makiivka”.

A senior Russian proxy official in Donetsk, Daniil Bezsonov, initially did not acknowledge the Russian military presence in the strike at two minutes past midnight: “A massive blow was dealt to the vocational school from American MLRS HIMARS. There were dead and wounded; the exact number is still unknown.”

But on Monday afternoon, as Russian “milbloggers” — some embedded with the occupying forces — reported up to 400 dead and criticized the failure to stop the rockets, the Russian Defense Ministry admitted the 63 deaths.

Rybar, a Russian military-linked Telegram channel, said at least 70 people had died and more than 100 were injured.

Criticism in Russia of Military Leaders

Other military analysts and bloggers cited higher numbers as their criticism continued.

Igor Strelkov, a Russian ultra-nationalist commentator and former intelligence officer, posted, “In terms of the number of victims, there are still no final figures, since many people are listed as missing (remained under the rubble). In any case, there are many hundreds dead and wounded.

Prominent military blogger Archangel Spetznaz Z wrote for more than 700,000 followers on Telegram:

What happened in Makiivka is horrible.

Who came up with the idea to place personnel in large numbers in one building, where even a fool understands that even if they hit with artillery, there will be many wounded or dead?.

Military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, who met Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in September, called for a tribunal for the “untrained idiots” in the Russian military leadership.

Politicians in Russia and occupied Ukraine joined the challenge to the military leaders. Andrey Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Moscow city parliament, chided, “Housing personnel in buildings instead of housing them in shelters directly aids the enemy. From the situation in Makiivka it is necessary to draw the toughest conclusions.”

In the Russian-occupied area of Donetsk, Bezsonov called for the punishment of “those guilty of the decision to use the facility”.