All signs point to a continued Russian onslaught on civilian targets in Ukraine

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Although the numbers may be in dispute, there is no doubt the recent Ukrainian attack on a Russian military “provisional base” in the eastern Ukrainian city of Makivka in the occupied region of Donetsk inflicted heavy losses on the invading forces.

This is confirmed by a statement issued by the Russian authorities that six “projectiles” were launched by Ukraine’s military using the HIMARS guided rocket system supplied by the United States. Although two of the missiles were shot down, the other four found their target.

As a result, some politicians in Russia are now calling for commanders in the Russian military to be held to account for the deaths of the soldiers after Moscow made a rare admission that 63 personnel had been killed, although Ukrainian sources estimate that the number is closer to 400. The building housed newly-conscripted recruits as well as being used, critically, for the storage of ammunition, which led a former Russian Federal Security Service officer, Igor Girkin, to say that “the number of dead and wounded runs into many hundreds”.

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This latest Ukrainian attack is set against a backdrop of a recent wave of Russian bombardments of cities throughout Ukraine with Moscow heralding in the new year by launching missiles on a nightly basis on urban areas which lie hundreds of miles from the war’s frontline, which serve no military purpose and so cannot be strategically justified. A Russian barrage of missiles was fired last Saturday and was followed up by the launching of dozens of Iranian made Shahed attack drones on Sunday and Monday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to the airwaves. In addressing the nation, he said: “We have information that Russia is planning a protracted attack using Shaded drones. It is probably banking on exhaustion. Exhausting our people, our anti-aircraft defences and our energy. But we act and do everything so that the terrorists fail in their aim as all their others have failed.”

The fact that Ukrainian air defences shot down 80 drones in the first two days of the new year bears testimony to Zelenskyy’s statement, with all signs pointing to a continued Russian onslaught on civilian targets within Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian sources, over 108,000 Russian personnel have been killed and over 324,500 wounded since Russia invaded in February of last year, but still Putin remains unmoved. Even if the figures may be dispute it is clear that Putin has sent tens of thousands of young men to their deaths in Ukraine- all to fulfil his megalomaniac desire to subjugate that country and once more exert Russian dominance in the region.

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Many thousands of Ukrainians have also died in this senseless war, which was unprovoked and was started on Putin’s fabricated excuse that Ukraine posed a threat to Russia. There is a quote, the origins of which are unclear, but as a French diplomat once put it: “The death of one man is a catastrophe. One hundred thousand deaths: that is a statistic!”

Alas, it would seem that Vladimir Putin embraces this school of thought.