US climbs escalation ladder in Ukraine, by M. K. Bhadrakumar

Escalation by one side leads to escalation by another with no end in sight. From M. K. Bhadrakumar at indianpunchline.com:

Building hit by 6 US-made HIMARS missiles on New Year Day killing at least 89 Russian conscripts, Makeyevka, Ukraine 

In all probability, the message conveyed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from his American counterpart Antony Blinken via Israel’s new foreign minister Eli Cohen concerned the Ukrainian missile attack on Makeyevka (Donetsk) on New Year Day at 12.02 am  killing 89 Russian conscripts.

Kiev claimed that upto 400 Russian soldiers might have been killed. Russian MOD has made a rare acknowledgment of scores of deaths — latest figure is 83. Moscow rarely releases figures for casualties in the war.

The Russian statements stressed that US-made Himars missiles were used in the attack. The site was a “a temporary deployment facility” (a vocational school temporarily used as barracks for scores of recently mobilised troops sent by Moscow.

The incident sparked renewed public criticism over the state of Russia’s military and the decision to use civilian infrastructure to house soldiers. The First Deputy Head of the Main Military-Political Department of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Sergey Sevryukov told reporters:

“It has already become obvious at present that the main cause of the occurrence was activation and large-scale use, contrary to the ban, of personal phones by personnel within the reach of enemy’s destruction means. This factor enabled the enemy to take the bearing and determine coordinates of servicemen location to deliver a missile strike. Required measures are being taken at present to exclude such tragic incidents in the future.”

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