(WatchDogReport.org) – It has been nearly one year since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his military over the border into Ukraine in an attempt to complete a conquest begun when he “annexed” the Crimea region of the country in 2014. Since that time, there have been claims and counterclaims regarding war crimes, with independent observers saying they’ve documented incidents committed by both sides during the conflict. Other than bullets and bombs, propaganda is another tool of war that both Ukraine and Russia have become adept at using, including the details of what happened in a recent missile strike.
The city of Kramatorsk lies in the Donetsk region, which has been controlled by Russian-backed separatists that claimed independence from Kyiv. It has been the site of recent heavy fighting. On Sunday, January 8, the Kremlin launched a strike against the city. This is not disputed by either side, but the effects of the attack are in question.
The Russian Defence Ministry claims it destroyed a military dormitory used by Ukrainian forces in the bombardment, killing 600 soldiers. However, Ukraine’s regional spokesman, Serhii Cherevatyi, said there was no loss of life — only civilian structures were hit.
The New York Times reported that one of their (unnamed) journalists went to the city on Sunday and said there was no evidence of any deaths or injuries in the area. The Russians have said this attack was a retaliation for a New Year’s Day strike by Ukraine’s military that destroyed buildings Russian soldiers were using as living quarters in the city of Makiivka, which left at least 89 dead.
Another Half a Million
Vadym Skibitsky, deputy chief of military intelligence for Ukraine, made an announcement recently that may have driven a stake through the heart of any hope of a speedy resolution to the war in 2023. He says Russia is planning to conscript 500,000 more people into its military forces beginning in mid-January. They are to be used in a new offensive beginning in the spring or early summer.
The news site POLITICO cited a source with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry who said it’s believed this round of conscription will include citizens from big cities, “including the strategic industries centers all over Russia,” which would be another blow to that country’s economy. In December, Ukraine claimed Russia would be closing its borders to men trying to leave in order to bolster their ranks. Putin denied this, saying it would be pointless because he still has troops in reserve.
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