According to recent statements made by the Russian military, the use of prohibited cell phones by service members made it possible for the adversary to pinpoint the location of its target.
Even though the exact number of fatalities is unknown, Russia has said that this is the highest death toll from the conflict that they are aware of.
Ukraine asserts that the number is far higher, claiming that the onslaught resulted in the deaths of 400 troops and injuries to another 300.
Russia said that at 00:01 local time on New Year’s Day, a Himars rocket system developed in the United States was used at a vocational college to launch six rockets, two of which were intercepted by security forces.
According to a statement published by the ministry of defence on Telegram in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, one of those murdered was Lieutenant Colonel Bachurin, who served as the regiment’s deputy commander.
According to the statement, an investigation by a commission into the events leading up to the catastrophe is now underway.
However, it is “clearly evident” that the primary reason of the assault was the presence of and “mass usage” of mobile phones by soldiers within range of Ukrainian weaponry, despite this being prohibited, he said. He stated that this was the case despite the fact that the use of mobile phones was illegal.
According to the statement, the officials who are found to be culpable in the inquiry will be brought to justice, and actions are being made to avoid such situations from occurring in the future.
In addition, Russia increased the number of Russian troops killed in the strike to 89, up from the previous estimate of 63, despite the fact that there is no way to verify the number of soldiers that were killed. It is an exceedingly unusual occurrence for Moscow to certify any losses on the battlefield.
At the time, the vocational college was jam-packed with conscripts. These were guys who had been among the 300,000 men called up in September as part of the partial mobilisation ordered by President Vladimir Putin. Additionally, ammunition was kept in the vicinity of the location, which was ultimately reduced to rubble.
Some Russian pundits and politicians have levelled accusations of ineptitude at the military, arguing that the soldiers should never have been provided with lodging in such a precarious location.
A former high-ranking official in Russia’s proxy authority in Donetsk named Pavel Gubarev said that the choice to lodge a large number of troops in a single building constituted “criminal negligence.”
He issued a stern warning, “If no one is punished for this, then things will only become worse.”
Andrei Medvedev, the deputy speaker of the local parliament in Moscow, stated that it was predictable that the soldiers would be blamed rather than the commander who made the original decision to put so many of them in one place. He said this because it was more convenient to blame the soldiers than the commander.
On Tuesday, President Putin signed a decree that would provide a payment of 5 million roubles (£57,000; $69,000) to the families of National Guard members who died while serving their country.