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Russia “highly likely” suffered 300 casualties, over three times as many as it had acknowledged, in Ukraine’s Jan. 1 strike on occupied Makiivka, next to the regional capital of Donetsk, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its daily briefing on Jan. 28.
“We assess that the majority were likely killed or missing, rather than wounded,” the update by the ministry reads.
In the early hours of Jan. 1, the Ukrainian army hit a temporary base for newly conscripted Russian soldiers in Makiivka, who had been celebrating New Year in the building.
Ukraine’s armed forces said its attack had killed 400 and injured 300. In a rare move, the Russian military command acknowledged the successful Ukrainian strike, saying the attack had killed 89 soldiers. It is reportedly the most significant loss in personnel from a single attack that Moscow has acknowledged since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.
According to the ministry, Russia's tactic of significantly playing down its losses is a typical example of the disinformation practiced on regular basis with regards to the proceedings in the war.
“This typically comes about through a combination of deliberate lying authorized by senior leaders, and the communication of inaccurate reports by more junior officials, keen to downplay their failings in Russia’s ‘blame and sack’ culture,” the statement by the British military intelligence says.