Top Russian military officials came under increased scrutiny on Wednesday as more details emerged about at least how 89 Russian soldiers A Ukrainian artillery attack on a building may have killed many.
Scene from last weekend makiivka city, the temporary deployment of soldiers in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine looks like a recipe for disaster. According to reports, Hundreds of Russian soldiers were huddled in a building near the front line In battle, the enemy may be sitting near an ammunition dump, within range of Western-provided precision artillery, perhaps unwittingly helping cave forces focus on them.
There was one Deadly single attacks It was the highest death toll in a single incident ever acknowledged by any side in the conflict since the war began more than 10 months ago against Kremlin forces.
The Ukrainian military said it was killed in the attack 400 Russian soldiers mobilized Located in the building of a vocational school in Makivika. Officials said another 300 people were injured. Because of the conflict, neither side’s claims could be verified.
The Russian military tried to blame the soldiers for their deaths. Lt. Gen Sergey Severyukov In a statement late Tuesday, signals from its phones allowed Kyiv forces to “determine the coordinates of the location of the soldiers” and launch an attack.
Emily Ferrissaid Russia and Eurasia Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. Associated Press “It is very difficult to verify” whether cell phone signaling and geolocation were responsible for the precise attack.
He noted that Russian soldiers are actively engaged Banned from using their phones, That’s because there have been many cases in recent years where it has been used for offensive purposes, including by both sides in the Ukrainian war. This conflict has made extensive use of modern technology.
He also mentioned Blaming the soldiers themselves is a “helpful narrative”. For Moscow, it helps deflect criticism and draws attention to the official ban on mobile phones.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also tried to move the conversation forward, taking part in a farewell ceremony for the Russian Navy’s new hypersonic missile warship via video link.
Putin said Zircon Missiles A “unique weapon” carried by the Admiral Gorshkov warship, capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and up to 1,000 kilometers. Russia says the missiles cannot be intercepted.
The Makhivika attack appeared to be the latest blow to the Kremlin’s military prestige as it struggles to press ahead with an invasion of its neighbor amid a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive.
But Ferris, the analyst, said, “We need to be a little cautious about leaning too heavily on this (attack) as a symptom. The weakness of the Russian army.
As details of the attack have leaked out in recent days, some observers have identified Military neglect Underlying many deaths.
British intelligence officials said Wednesday “Unprofessional” military practices The high casualty rate among the troops may be partially attributed to Moscow.
“Given the scale of the damage, it’s a realistic possibility The ammunition was stashed near the army quartersIt exploded during the attack, creating secondary explosions,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in a Twitter post.
The ministry said in the same release The building hit by Ukrainian missiles was 12 kilometers from the front line. “One of the most contentious areas of the conflict”, Donetsk is partially occupied by Russia.
“The Russian military has a history Unsecured storage munitions long before the current war, but this incident highlights how unprofessional practices contribute to Russia’s high casualty rate,” the update added.
The Russian Defense Ministry, in a rare acknowledgment of casualties, said 63 soldiers were killed in the attack. But as emergency workers sifted through the rubble of the building, the death toll rose. Among the dead was the deputy commander of the brigade.
That prompted renewed criticism inside Russia of the Defense Ministry’s handling of the broader military campaign.
Vladlon TatarskyA popular military blogger accused the Russian generals of “proving their own Stupidity and lack of understanding What happens among the troops, where everyone has cell phones.
“Furthermore, where there is coverage, artillery fire is usually adjusted by telephone. There are no other options,” Tatarsky wrote in a Telegram post.
Others blame the decision to station hundreds of troops in one location. “The cell phone story is not very promising,” wrote military blogger Semyon Bekov. “The only solution is not to put mass employees in large buildings. Instead of putting 500 people in one place, spread them over 10 different locations.
Unconfirmed reports in Russian-language media said the victims were The reserved ones Collected from the Samara region in southwestern Russia.
The Institute for War Studies He saw the incident as further proof that Moscow had not used the reservists properly last September.
“Systemic failures in Russia’s force-building apparatus continue to affect personnel capabilities to the detriment of Russia’s operational capability in Ukraine,” the think tank said in a statement late Tuesday.
Ferris, of the Royal United Services Institute, said the Makivika attack shows that The Russian military is more concerned with increasing its troop numbers than training them in combat skills.
“This is actually how Russia conducts most of its war: overwhelming the enemy, with people, with size,” he said. “The Kremlin’s view, unfortunately, is that soldiers’ lives are expendable.”
(With information from AP)