Ukraine war: Dozens of Russian troops ‘die in air strike’

RUSSIA   -  At least 60 Russian troops have been killed after a training area in occupied eastern Ukraine was hit by two missiles, reports say.

Sources familiar with the situation told the BBC that troops had gathered at the site in Donetsk re­gion for the arrival of a senior commander.

Video footage of the incident appeared to show large numbers of dead.

A Russian official confirmed that a strike took place but described the reports as “grossly exag­gerated”. The attack reportedly came hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

At the meeting, Mr Shoigu claimed Russian suc­cesses in several areas of the front line and spoke of the recent capture of the town of Avdiivka, but made no mention of the Donetsk region incident.

Reports say members of the 36th motorised rifle brigade, normally based in the Transbaikal region of Siberia, were waiting for the arrival of Maj-Gen Oleg Moiseyev, commander of the 29th Army of the Eastern military region, at a training area near the village of Trudovske. A soldier who survived the incident said during a video record­ing of the aftermath that the brigade’s command­ers had made them stand in an open field. They were reportedly hit by two missiles fired from the US-made HIMARS launch system. This and other videos and stills show dozens of soldiers appar­ently lying dead in a field. Estimates, including by those who survived, suggest at least 60 have died.

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