Ukraine denies Russian claim it killed hundreds of soldiers

Russia has claimed its military carried out a deadly “retaliatory strike” on barracks used by Ukrainian soldiers in the Donbas region as Ukraine denied there were any casualties in the attack.

The Russian defence ministry said missiles hit two temporary bases housing 1,300 Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk, in the eastern Donetsk region. It said “more than 600 Ukrainian servicemen were killed” as a result of what they called a “retaliatory strike” on Ukrainian soldiers.

Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the attack was conducted in retaliation after Ukraine killed dozens Russian troops in an attack on Makiivka last week.

Ukrainian officials denied there were any casualties in the Russian attack on Kramatorsk.

Serhiy Cherevaty, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s forces in the east, said that Russian attacks on Kramatorsk damaged only civilian infrastructure.

“The armed forces of Ukraine weren’t affected,” he added.

The head of the Donetsk regional administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said earlier on Sunday that Russians launched seven rocket attacks on Kramatorsk, adding that “an educational institution, an industrial facility and a garage cooperative” had been damaged and that there were no casualties.

Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko said two school buildings and eight apartment houses were damaged.

Reporters from the Reuters news agency visited the two college dormitories that Russia’s defence ministry said had been temporarily housing Ukrainian servicemen close to the front line of the war at the time of the overnight attack.

Neither appeared to have been directly hit by missiles or seriously damaged, they said. There were no obvious signs that soldiers had been living there and no sign of bodies or traces of blood.

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