Russia blames soldiers’ mobile phone use for deadly Makiivka strike

At a time of outrage in Russia over one of the deadliest strikes on Moscow’s forces during the war, official blame has been placed on the targeted soldiers themselves, with the idea that their use of mobile phones allowed Ukrainian forces to focus on their positions.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the “main reason” for the New Year’s Day attack in the city of Makivka in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region was the collective use of a camera. telephones. By personnel within Ukraine’s firepower.

The ministry said that despite the ban, they used phones.

Russian soldiers’ use of hotlines in Ukraine is a known weakness of its military and often reveals the positions of forces. The intercepted calls revealed confusion and discontent in the Russian ranks.

Some Russian military lawmakers and bloggers pushed back on the quick assignment of blame, calling it an attempt to blame the base rather than military commanders. A number of influential bloggers have criticized commanders for failing to take basic precautions to protect troops, such as dispersing incoming soldiers to safer locations and keeping them away from ammunition.

The British Ministry of Defense in its daily analysis he said on Wednesday The Makiivka attack showed how “unprofessional practices contribute to Russia’s high casualty rate,” citing the possibility of munitions being stored near makeshift barracks and creating secondary explosions as a major contributing factor to the extent of the damage.

“The Russian military has a record of storing dangerous munitions long before the current war,” the report said.

A strike by Ukraine using US-supplied guided missiles in Makiivka hit a vocational school used as a barracks by Russian soldiers. The Ukrainian military said “about 400” soldiers were killed, but did not claim responsibility for the attack. On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a rare casualty finding that 89 people had died, down from an initial figure of 63. The ministry said that the deputy commander of the regiment was among the dead.

None of the claims about the deaths could be independently verified. The unusually quick reaction by the Russian Defense Ministry to acknowledge the heavy losses at Makiyivka signaled the Kremlin’s efforts to provide greater transparency domestically as President Vladimir V. Putin tries to prepare Russians and his own military for the long battle ahead.

During the war, Russian generals spoke on unsecured phones and radios, allowing Ukrainians to find and kill at least one general and his staff through a wiretapped call, according to current and former US military officials.

However, Moscow MP and state television host Andrey Medvedev wrote on Telegram that it is “predictable” that the blame will fall on individual soldiers. “Of course. The commander who ordered the placement of personnel in the building of the vocational school is not guilty,” he wrote.

A military blogger who writes under the nickname “Grey Zone” called the assessment that phone use caused the strike “99% false” and “an attempt to shift the blame”. The blogger said that the reason for this could be the failure of intelligence.

Outrage on Russian social media over the soldiers’ deaths has been directed at high-ranking officials, but apparently not at President Vladimir V. Putin.

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