On Sunday, Russia’s claim that 600 Ukrainian troops were killed in Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine, has been proved false after photography proved that the artillery strike missed its target. International media have claimed that Russia may have made up their claim at a time Vladimir Putin has been receiving public backlash in Russia for the death of Russian soldiers who have been drafted into the army.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said over the weekend that they had carried out a “retaliation operation” on a Ukrainian barrack which had killed “more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers”.
However, they have failed to prove the claim is true with evidence and photography at the acne showed that Russian artillery had missed their target.
Russia’s claim seems to be in response to Ukraine’s attack on a Russian barrack on New Year’s Day in Makiivka, a military-occupied city in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine has said “about 400” Russian soldiers were killed in the attack, in what has been reported as Russia’s biggest loss of life since the war began in February.
However, Ukraine has accused Russia of lying about the casualties of its weekend attack, with Sergiy Cherevaty, the spokesman for Eastern Ukraine’s armed forces, calling the claim “another piece of Russian propaganda.”
He said: “This information is as true as the data that they have destroyed all of our Himars.”
Himars are long-ranged artillery rocket launchers which were developed by America and have been used by Ukraine to target Russian bases.
Journalists have visited the two college dormitories which Russia has said was holding Ukrainian soldiers, and have said both buildings do not seem to have been directly hit in the strikes.
The media on the ground has also said there are no signs of killings having taken place in the area.
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International media have claimed that Russia may have made up their claim at a time Vladimir Putin has been receiving public backlash in Russia for the death of Russian soldiers who have been drafted into the army.
Some Russians have accused the Russian government of suppressing information, and an online petition that has received nearly 46,000 signatures has demanded that the Russian authorities publish a full list of soldiers killed in the attack.
On the social media website Telegram, dozens of women have launched a campaign protesting against the war as their sons and husbands have been drafted.
A video uploaded to the site said: “This is your war, we want peace.”
A Russian mother named Elena has said three of her sons were drafted into the Russian army and she has not heard from any Russian officials since the attack took place.
In a tearful video, Elena said: “After the tragedy, the military committee and enlistment office did not respond to an appeal, they do not work with relatives of the mobilized.”