Anger is mounting in Russia over a devastating Ukrainian attack on army barracks which may have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of newly-mobilised Russian troops.

A number of Russian lawmakers have called for an investigation into the incident, with one calling for criminal charges to be brought against whoever "allowed the concentration of military personnel in an unprotected building".

The Ukrainian strike targeted a temporary deployment point in the Russian-occupied city of Makiivka in eastern Ukraine on New Year's Eve, with what is believed to have been U.S.-supplied Himars missiles.

Russia’s Defence Ministry has said 63 troops were killed in the attack, but Ukraine as well as Russian sources believe the real death toll is closer to 400.

Even the smaller figure would represent the single biggest loss of life acknowledged by the Kremlin since the reinvasion began in February.


Russian Senate member Grigoriy Karasin called for "an exacting internal analysis" of events, as well as demanding revenge against Ukraine.

Lawmaker Sergei Mironov said "all the higher authorities who did not provide the proper level of security" should face criminal charges.

And referring to Ukraine's ability to monitor Russian troops within range of its forces, pro-Kremlin journalist and deputy speaker of the Moscow City Duma, Andrey Medvedev, said: "Ten months into the war, it is dangerous and criminal to consider the enemy a fool who does not see anything."

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The announcement was made by the head of occupied Crimea, who said the parade would be replaced by different “festive events” to “honor the memory of those who died.”

The criticism from lawmakers came after a number of Russian commentators expressed outrage over the attack, accusing Russia's top commanders of not learning from past mistakes.

Former Russian separatist leader Igor Strelkov said the troops, largely consisting of mobilised Russians, were stationed in an unprotected building that was "almost completely" destroyed because ammunition stored on the premises detonated in the strike.

He said "hundreds" had been killed and wounded.

Criticism of the authorities could also be found on social media, as people accused them of downplaying the death toll.


"Dear God, who will believe in the figure of 63? The building has been completely destroyed," one Russian, Nina Vernykh, wrote on the country's largest social network, VKontakte.

"An announcement on the social network urged Russians to collect clothes, medicines and equipment for those who survived the strike.

"Everything that the mobilised had on them remains under the rubble," the announcement said.

On Tuesday, some 200 people laid roses and wreaths in a central square in the city of Samara – where some of the servicemen came from – as an Orthodox priest recited a prayer.

Soldiers also fired a gun salute at the commemoration, where some of the mourners could be seen holding flags for President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.

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

Local media reported similar gatherings in other parts of the Samara region.

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