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2 killed in east Ukraine; Russia claims deadly barracks hit

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Officials said at least two people were killed during fighting in eastern Ukraine, as Russia claimed Sunday that it carried out deadly missile strikes on barracks used by Ukrainian troops in the war.

Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said one person was killed in strikes on Bakhmut, and eight others in the region were wounded. He also reported rocket attacks on Kramatorsk and Konstantynivka.

In the Kharkiv region, the town of Merefa was hit during the night, killing one person and two other settlements in the region were shelled, Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said.

The Russian military said missiles launched at Kramatorsk had struck barracks used by Ukrainian troops, killing 600 people. There was no comment from Ukrainian officials, and it wasn’t immediately possible to independently verify it.

The claim comes almost a week after Ukraine forces fired rockets at a facility 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.

Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the missile strikes were retaliation for Ukraine’s attack in Makiivka, in which at least 89 Russian soldiers died.

“Over the past day, Russian intelligence means detected and reliably confirmed through various independent channels some temporary bases of Ukrainian servicemen in Kramatorsk,” he said. “As a result of a massive rocket strike on these temporary bases of Ukrainian units, more than 600 Ukrainian servicemen were killed.”

The latest developments come after Russian forces ended a partially observed, unilateral cease-fire timed to coincide with Orthodox Christmas celebrations on Saturday.


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