Russia and Ukraine: Kyiv denies the death of 600 of its soldiers in the Russian bombings

 Russia and Ukraine: Kyiv denies the death of 600 of its soldiers in the Russian bombings

Ukraine called Russia's statements that hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the Russian bombings "propaganda".

The Russian defense ministry, having provided no evidence of this, announced that it had launched an "intensive missile strike" in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, killing 600 Ukrainian soldiers, the Reuters news agency reported.

Moscow said the attack was part of the Russian escalation in response to the Christmas Eve attack by Ukrainian troops on Russian military barracks in occupied Ukrainian territory, which killed a large number of Russian soldiers.

But the Ukrainian military said that what Russia announced was not true.

"We are witnessing a new act of Russian propaganda," Sergey Sherevatyy, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, told the BBC.

The Russian defense ministry said that more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the shelling of buildings used by the army as temporary shelters for soldiers.

Two buildings in Chramatursk are used by the Ukrainian troops as temporary housing for soldiers.

The ministry called the attacks "retaliation" aimed at responding to the murder of 89 Russian soldiers in Makiivka. But the Ukrainian side confirms that about 400 Russian soldiers were killed and wounded, while Russian nationalists estimate on social networks the number of victims of the Ukrainian bombings at hundreds.

So far, Russia has not provided any evidence that it has killed hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers.

A journalist from Agence France-Presse confirmed that he had heard four explosions in the eastern Donetsk region before midnight last Saturday.

In some parts of Ukraine, the shelling also intensified overnight after the end of what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a unilateral 36-hour ceasefire to allow Orthodox Christians to celebrate Christmas. But there is evidence that the Russian troops did not respect this truce.

Ukrainian officials said at least one person had been killed in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Explosions were also heard in the western Ukrainian cities of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol.

The Russian defense ministry said that Ukraine had released 50 prisoners taken by Russian troops after the negotiations, while Ukraine confirmed that it had withdrawn an equal number of its prisoners from Moscow.

Ukrainian bombing

Earlier, the head of the local administration of Chramatorsk, Pavel Kirilenkov, said that Russian missiles aimed at the city

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