Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Recriminations begin as Russian soldiers using mobile phones blamed for deadly bombing

The recriminations and mudslinging have started with some in Russia blaming troops for using their mobile phones, revealing their location resulting in the deadly bombing of Russian soldiers on New Year’s Eve.

Russia confirmed on Tuesday, January 3 that 63 servicemen had died in the raid by Ukraine, however, depending on which source you read that number varies between 63 and 700. Many believe that Russia´s admission that 63 soldiers is unusual and suggests that the number could be far higher.

Reports by Russian military bloggers suggest that there is fury in Moscow over the killings and that blame is being directed at everyone from military leaders to soldiers using their mobile phones.

The US-based think tank The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Russia may now try to lay the blame elsewhere and that it is “likely attempting to deflect the blame for its poor operational security… onto Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) officials and mobilised forces.”


DNR law enforcement has told local newspapers that the strike had happened because soldiers had violated security measures. The use of their mobile phones allowed Ukrainian forces to locate their base and to target their missiles.

But the accusations don´t stop there, the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Deputy Interior Minister Vitaly Kiselyov has suggested DNR head Denis Pushilin must take the blame and should resign.

ISW is of the opinion that the Russian leadership is also being blamed for the deaths and that “profound military failures” such as this one, would further complicate President Vladimir Putin´s efforts to control the war effort and to keep the pro-war hawks on his side.

He has come under increasing pressure with a growing number of voices critical of his leadership. ISW believe his inability to take control of the war and fix the shortcomings of his military has led many to question whether he is capable of winning the war.

It is understood that he has ordered an investigation into the incident and that he wants answers by January 6.

It is known that Ukraine has tracked the mobile phones of Russian soldiers with much of the military communication equipment said to be sub-standard. Whether the use of their mobile phones can be blamed for the deadly New Year´s eve bombing remains to be seen.

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