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Kyiv denies deaths after Russian military says it killed 600 soldiers in strikes

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Ukrainian officials say nobody died in missile attacks Russia claims killed 600 troops.

The Russian defence ministry said missiles hit two temporary bases housing 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers in Kramatorsk in the easter Donetsk region.

The strikes were retaliation for Ukraine’s attack in Makiivka, which left at least 89 Russian troops died, ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

But Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for Ukraine’s forces in the east, told the Associated Press the strikes on Kramatorsk only damaged civilian infrastructure, adding: “The armed forces of Ukraine weren’t affected.”

The Donetsk regional administration said seven Russian missiles hit Kramatorsk and two more hit Konstantynivka without causing any casualties.

It said an educational institution, an industrial facility and garages were damaged in Kramatorsk, while an industrial zone was hit in Kostyantynivka.

Kramatorsk mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko said two school buildings and eight apartments were damaged.

In the early hours of January 1, Ukrainian forces fired rockets at a facility in Makiivka, also in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russian soldiers were stationed, killing dozens of them in one of the deadliest attacks on the Kremlin’s forces since the war began more than 10 months ago.

Also on Sunday, the Ukrainian military claimed to have hit a residential hall of a medical university in Rubizhne, a town in the Russian-occupied eastern Luhansk region, killing 14 Russian soldiers housed there. The number of wounded was unknown, it said.

Elsewhere in the east, Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said one person was killed in strikes on Bakhmut, with eight others hurt.

In the north-eastern Kharkiv region, the town of Merefa was hit during the night, killing one person, while two other settlements in the region were shelled, governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

“The world saw again these days that Russia lies even when it draws attention to the situation at the front with its own statements,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

“Russian shelling of Kherson with incendiary ammunition right after Christmas. The strikes on Kramatorsk and other cities of the Donbas — aimed right at civilian sites and right when Moscow was reporting the supposed ‘silence’ of its army.”

The latest developments come after Russian forces ended a partially observed ceasefire timed to coincide with Orthodox Christmas celebrations on Saturday.

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