An alarming report from Ukraine has revealed that more than 800 Russian soldiers were killed in a single day during a devastating attack. The strike was conducted by Ukrainian forces and targeted a temporary barracks in Makiivka, located in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. This is one of the worst military losses suffered by Russian forces since the conflict began in 2014.
The deadly strike on the barracks was reportedly conducted with help from Ukrainian intelligence, who were able to pinpoint the location of the base after Russian soldiers made phone calls in violation of orders. This led to Moscow accusing their own soldiers of negligence and prompting a new ban on phone usage on the battlefield.
In response to the attack, Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov has said that the fighting in Ukraine is likely to become “hottest” in March, with Ukraine planning a major push in the spring. He also warned that there could be further strikes that go “deeper and deeper” into Russian territory. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that talks between Ukraine and Russia can only happen if Ukraine accepts the “new territorial realities”.
This has been seen as a demand for Ukraine to cede control of certain territories to Russia for talks to happen. In light of the escalating tensions, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has called for both sides of the conflict to observe a Christmas truce. He said he would “appeal to all the parties involved in the internecine conflict to cease fire and establish a Christmas truce from 12.00 on 6 January until midnight on 7 January so that Orthodox people can attend services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day”.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014, and has resulted in thousands of deaths, displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and has had a major impact on the region’s economy. While there have been some attempts at peace talks, the conflict shows no signs of abating and the recent attack shows that the war is still raging.