Kiev launched a deadly missile attack on a building in the city of Makivka in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region. So far 89 people have lost their lives in the attack. The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the attack on the use of cell phones by soldiers.

According to Reuters, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that soldiers were illegally using cell phones in the building. As a result, Ukraine was able to easily track them down and carry out the heinous attacks.

Ukraine claimed on Monday that about 400 Russian soldiers were killed in the attack. But Moscow said 63 soldiers were killed in the attack over the weekend. The dead bodies of 89 people have been recovered from the latest rubble.

Much of the anger on social media has been directed at military commanders rather than Russian President Vladimir Putin. The attack comes after they have made major battlefield retreats in recent months.

Four Ukrainian missiles hit a temporary Russian barracks at the Vocational College in Makivka, the twin city of Donetsk, the capital of the Russian-held regional capital of eastern Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said. An official investigation into the incident has been launched. But the root cause of the attack is clearly the illegal use of mobile phones by service personnel.

In a statement issued at 1pm on Wednesday, the ministry said, ‘This factor helped the enemy to track and determine the coordinates of the troops’ positions for missile attacks.’

Semyon Pegov, a prominent Russian war correspondent who was awarded the Order of Courage by Putin in late 2022, questioned the ministry’s reasoning. In a Telegram post, he said Ukraine could have been able to detect troops through drones and intelligence, not necessarily through mobile phones.

Pegov also said the ‘mobile’ story is not very believable. I rarely say this – but these are cases where it would be best to remain silent, at least until the investigation is over. As such it appears to be a complete attempt to shift blame. The number of casualties may also increase.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rarely comments on specific Ukrainian military strikes. He made no mention of the attack in a video message on Tuesday.

Ukraine’s military said it carried out an attack that damaged Russian equipment and possibly personnel near Makivka. But they did not say anything more.

Russian nationalist bloggers and some pro-Russian officials in the region put the Makivka death toll in the hundreds, though some say these estimates are exaggerated.

(January 04)