Russian mourners vow to 'crush enemy' after Ukraine kills up to 400 in Makiivka strike

Russian mourners have vowed to “crush the enemy together” after Ukraine flattens barracks in Makiivka on New Year’s Eve. Around 200 people laid roses and wreaths in Samara as an Orthodox priest recited a prayer.

Samara, which is Russia’s eighth-largest city, was home to some of the servicemen stationed in Makiivka.

Soldiers also fired a gun salute at the commemoration and some mourners clutched onto flags for Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party, the Guardian has claimed.

Ekaterina Kolotovkina, head of a group of army spouses, said at the ceremony: “It’s very tough, it’s scary. But we cannot be broken. Grief unites.”

Ms Kolotovkina also said she asked her husband, who is a general, to “avenge” the victims.

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She added: “We will crush the enemy together. We are left with no choice.”

Ukraine claimed 400 people died after a Himars attack flattened a Russian army barracks in the eastern region of the ex-Soviet state.

Kyiv’s estimates, which indicated “about 400” people died, appear to have been corroborated by some pro-Russian separatists.

Kremlin-backers in the region have argued that “hundreds” had died, according to the Telegraph.

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Ultra-nationalist politicians in Russia labelled the attack as a “tragedy” and blamed its military for being too careless.

Officials in Donetsk on Monday appeared to lament the Russian victims for giving away their location through mobile phone data.

They alleged Ukraine was able to detect an unusual “activity of the mobile network and location of the subscribers”.