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The New Year's Eve massacre of dozens of Russian recruits reignites criticism of their high command


Ukraine adds that it destroyed an enemy army barracks in Kherson province on Tuesday, killing 500 people and wounding them, although Moscow does not confirm this.

The New Year's Eve massacre in Makiivka in eastern Ukraine has reignited anger in Russia against top brass at a time when major battles loomed in Vladimir Putin's war.

The October withdrawal from the west bank of Kherson had been accepted domestically as a lesser evil, a turn toward rational strategy.

But the death of dozens —or hundreds— of recruits in a bombardment for having been concentrated in the same building along with ammunition has once again unleashed criticism against Russian officers when they try to unite a force of hundreds of thousands of mobilized with little training. .

In addition, the pressure is increasing for its responsibility over the so-called


(those mobilized by the war).

The reproaches for their mistakes no longer come only from veterans and ultranationalists: several cities in the Samara region are crying this Tuesday for the final farewell of many men to whom they forcibly said goodbye just three months ago.

The Ukrainian General Staff assures that the beginning of the year has been prolific in successful bombings, presumably using Himars precision artillery.

The last would have been at dawn this Tuesday, when a Russian barracks in Chulakivka, in the province of Kherson, was destroyed.

According to the kyiv version, this would have caused another 500 casualties, between wounded and dead.

There has been no confirmation from Moscow, but in The Gray Zone, a Telegram community of Russian soldiers, it was stated that the attack did take place.

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Russian positions in Chulakivka, near the southern front, have been under constant attack since Ukrainian troops recaptured the territory of that province on the west bank of the Dnieper last November.

The last coup recognized by Moscow has been that of Makiivka.

The Russian Defense Ministry claims that at least 63 people were killed there in the New Year's attack.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces assure for their part that there were hundreds of victims, while other sources from the most warmongering Russian sector and the relatives of the deceased believe that in any case the official figures have fallen short.

“Many more have died.

They are still pulling them out from under the rubble," the wife of one of those mobilized told the independent newspaper

Vazhnye Istorii

in its Tuesday edition.

In Samara, a city located next to the Volga from which many of the deceased came, they have made a tribute in their memory where there has been no shortage of flags and patriotic slogans against NATO, although neither has criticism.

“These guys didn't die in battle.

They celebrated the New Year.

I think it was someone's serious mistake”, stressed the head of the veterans' organization Battle Brotherhood in the region, Andrei Masterkov.

“No one expected these missiles.

There is still no data on the dead and wounded from Samara, they are still clearing the rubble," Masterkov told local media.

Relatives and relatives warn that the final count of victims has not finished, and some Russian political figures emphasize that it is not the first time that a similar incident has occurred.

"Criminal negligence"

“These are spring bugs!

We are in the eleventh month (of war)!

You have to deploy in small groups and perhaps those mobilized do not know it, but the authorities should know it! ”, wrote in 2014 who was the first leader of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk, Pavel Gubarev, on his Telegram channel.

“It has been criminal negligence.

If it is not punished, it will continue to happen," added this key figure in the Donbas war, who acknowledged that it has also happened in other buildings.

"It's hard to quantify how many soldiers died because of this crap, but it's hundreds, hundreds of them," he added.

For his part, the deputy secretary of the General Council of Putin's party, Alexander Jinshtein, not only expressed his indignation at having made such a mistake, but also acknowledged that Russia intervened in the 2014 Donbas war, despite the fact that the Kremlin always he denied it.

“Never underestimate enemies.

We already said in the summer that it was dangerous to gather soldiers en masse in places with ammunition and fuel, ”he wrote on his Telegram channel.

“Our artillery brutally trained the Ukrainians in 2014 with attacks on their camps, and in 2022, at the beginning of the operation, dealt other blows at Nikolayev and Yavorov,” he added.

"The enemy had to learn to disperse people from him, but these lessons were not learned by our own commanders," criticized the parliamentarian publicly.

"Incompetence and the inability to learn from the experience of war continues to be a serious problem," denounced Boris Rozhin, another of the Russian warmongering voices and an analyst at the Russian Center for Political-Military Journalism.

Rozhin criticized the fact that the mobilized did not disperse, as has been done in some areas with ammunition depots after the summer bombings.

The Ukrainian military high command claims that in the first three days of 2023 it has carried out 13 precision strikes.

On December 31, according to the kyiv army, its artillery managed to cause at least 175 casualties, wounded Russian soldiers, in shelling military bases.

In order to avoid massive casualties, Ukraine systematically imposes itself not to concentrate its soldiers and distribute them to houses and buildings with subways in the municipalities where they are stationed.

The Russian military information Telegram channel Voienii Osvodomitel claimed in an analysis of the Makiivka attack that kyiv had adopted this strategy more effectively than Moscow.

A Telegram channel closely linked to the Russian mercenary company Wagner complained: “Even a fool knows that there would be many deaths and injuries if they hit there.

Every mistake has names and surnames”.

The critics do not point towards the head of the Army

The criticism, coming among other groups from Telegram channels close to the Wagner company, does not point to General Sergei Surovikin, 56, who was appointed sole head of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine in October.

The appointment of this general, who was in command of Russian operations in the Syrian war, had restored a certain calm to Moscow's internal politics.

His withdrawal from Kherson was blessed by official propaganda and by the owner of the Wagner mercenary company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Putin's

man for everything

, from his unofficial military actions in Africa to Kremlin campaigns with bots. , on social networks.

Prigozhin, at odds with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, has catapulted his public image these months at the cost of damaging that of Alexander Lapin, the high command that preceded Surovikin in Ukraine.

Prigozhin, called

Putin's chef

, charged in September against Lapin, who was sacked after the Kherson debacle.

Putin's chef has portrayed himself as an unscrupulous leader who is not afraid to show the dirtier face of war.

“Their contracts are up, they are going home,” Prigozhin said earlier this week while visiting a makeshift morgue in a Lugansk basement.

Wagner's boss walked past the dozens of black plastic bags in which his survivors kept the bodies of other mercenaries killed in combat.

Sacrifice is one of Prigozhin's mottos, although his most prominent offensive in recent months, the Bakhmut massacre, has so far relied on thousands of prisoners released from jail with the promise of freedom for serving on the front lines. .

His attack, however, has so far been repelled by Ukrainian forces at the cost of heavy casualties on both sides.

Criticism on Russian social networks does not point to Putin's chef at the moment either.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-01-04

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