The attack came as President Putin was giving his New Year’s address which received a “lukewarm” response from pro-war commentators, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank.
In another sign of growing public anger over Moscow’s military failures in Ukraine, Russian military bloggers have also shared claims that the Russian president had used background actors rather than real soldiers in his address, the ISW said.
Amid the growing belief that the dictator is “out of touch”, bloggers have been praising Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin.
Mr Prigozhin, who appeared on the frontlines over the holidays, is in charge of the shadowy Russian mercenary group and has been frequently critical of the military’s handling of the war.
Kremlin supporters have meanwhile been left furious over the heavy losses in Makiivka.
High-profile Russian military bloggers have today been reacting with anger, branding Moscow’s military leadership “fools” who didn’t value soldiers’ lives.
Igor Girkin, a separatist military veteran turned commentator, has said hundreds were killed and wounded, saying the building itself was “almost completely destroyed”.
Contradicting the Kremlin’s claims of only 63 deaths, he said the victims were mainly recent conscripts, rather than those who had chosen to fight.