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Russia claims deadly attack, but Kyiv denies anyone killed

by The Associated Press | January 9, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
A Ukrainian soldier waves to a military helicopter returning from the combat, close to the frontline in the Kherson region, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- The Russian military claimed Sunday to have carried out deadly missile strikes on barracks used by Ukrainian troops in retaliation for the deaths of dozens of Russian soldiers in a rocket attack a week ago. Ukrainian officials denied there were any casualties.

The Russian Defense Ministry said its missiles hit two temporary bases housing 1,300 Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk, in the eastern Donetsk region, killing 600 of them. Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the strikes were retaliation for Ukraine's attack in Makiivka, in which at least 89 Russian soldiers died.

Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for Ukraine's forces in the east, told the Associated Press that Russian strikes on Kramatorsk damaged only civilian infrastructure, adding: "The armed forces of Ukraine weren't affected."

The Donetsk regional administration said seven Russian missiles hit Kramatorsk and two more hit Konstantynivka, without causing any casualties. It said an educational institution, an industrial facility and garages were damaged in Kramatorsk, and an industrial zone was hit in Kostyantynivka.

Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko said two school buildings and eight apartment houses were hit overnight, with photos he posted showing no sign of any extensive damage.

In the early hours of Jan. 1, Ukrainian forces fired rockets at a facility in Makiivka, also in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian soldiers were stationed, killing dozens of them in one of the deadliest attacks on the Kremlin's forces since the war began more than 10 months ago.

Also on Sunday, the Ukrainian military claimed to have hit a residential hall of a medical university in Rubizhne, a town in the Russian-occupied eastern Luhansk region, killing 14 Russian soldiers housed there. The number of wounded was unknown, it said.

Elsewhere in the east, Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said one person was killed in strikes on Bakhmut, and eight others were wounded.

In the northeastern Kharkiv region, the town of Merefa was hit during the night, killing one person and two other settlements in the region were shelled, Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said.

The latest developments come after Russian forces ended a partially observed cease-fire timed to coincide with Orthodox Christmas celebrations on Saturday.

Russia and Ukraine exchanged prisoners Sunday, swapping 50 on each side, according to Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, and Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian president's office.

  photo  A Ukrainian helicopter fires at the Russian positions in the frontline in the Kherson region, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)
 
 
  photo  A soldier loads the weapon in a helicopter at a Ukrainian military air base close to the frontline in the Kherson region, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)
 
 
  photo  A pilot shows thumbs up before a combat flight standing near his helicopter at a Ukrainian military air base close to the frontline in the Kherson region, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/LIBKOS)
 
 
  photo  People kneel as the Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin of their comrade Oleh Yurchenko killed in a battlefield with Russian forces in the Donetsk region during a commemoration ceremony in Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
 
 
  photo  People kneel as the Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin of their comrade Oleh Yurchenko killed in a battlefield with Russian forces in Donetsk region during a commemoration ceremony in Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
 
 
  photo  Ukrainian servicemen stand guard the coffin of their comrade Oleh Yurchenko killed in a battlefield with Russian forces in Donetsk region during a commemoration ceremony in Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
 
 

Print Headline: Russia claims deadly attack, but Kyiv denies anyone killed

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