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Ukrainian military: Dozens of Russian marines killed at award ceremony

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 22, 2023 4:49 PM 2 min read
A U.S.-supplied M142 HIMARS used by the Ukrainian military launches a rocket. (Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Dozens of Russian marines were killed by a Ukrainian strike during an awards ceremony in Donetsk Oblast on Nov. 19, the Ukrainian army's strategic communications unit reported on Nov. 22.

The unit confirmed the strike on the marines and said the number of casualties had been reported by Russian propagandists.

Robert “Magyar” Brovdi, a commander at Ukraine's 59th Brigade, reported on Nov. 21 that 25 Russian marines had been killed and more than 100 had been injured.

Members of Russia's 810th Marine Brigade were attending the awards ceremony near Starobesheve, Donetsk Oblast, on the occasion of Russia's Missile Forces and Artillery Day, which also had entertainment provided by Russian actress Polina Menshikh when the attack allegedly occurred.

The Russian state media outlet Rossiyskaya Gazeta corroborated that Menshikh was performing for the soldiers near Starobesheve.

Ukraine's Ground Forces posted a video on Nov. 21 that appeared to show Menshikh performing, followed by an explosion.

The Russian state news agency TASS confirmed Menshikh's death on Nov. 21, saying that Ukrainian forces had fired on the village of Kumachove in Donetsk Oblast with a variety of weapons, including HIMARS missiles.

Kumachove is located about 25 kilometers from Starobesheve.

It did not comment on the other alleged casualties.

Brovdi said that the strike was "payback" for the Russian missile attack on Ukraine's 128th Mountain Assault Brigade during an awards ceremony in early November that killed 19 soldiers.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said the strike on the 128th Brigade was the result of basic security measures being ignored, adding that it likely could have been avoided.

An investigation into the incident and the potential negligent behavior of the organizers of the award ceremony, as well as anyone else who may have been involved, is ongoing, Umerov said.

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