Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

A senior Russian military blogger criticized the Russian Defense Ministry’s explanation of how dozens of soldiers were targeted in eastern Ukraine, calling the official story “unconvincing” and “an obvious attempt to shift blame.”

Semyons Pegov, who blogs under the pseudonym WarGonzo and on December 20 He was personally awarded the Order of Courage by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, said the death toll in Makiivka was probably far higher than the 89 now officially recognized by Russia.

“The lists of the missing are, unfortunately, significantly higher,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday appeared to blame the soldiers themselves for Ukraine’s strike on Russian-occupied Makiivka.

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It said the “main cause of this incident” was the widespread use of mobile phones by Russian soldiers “in violation of the ban”, which allowed Ukraine to “track and determine the coordinates of the location of the soldiers”.

On Wednesday, Pegov said that while the use of cell phones on the front lines is “obviously” not a good thing, “the story with ‘cell phones’ is not too convincing.”

“It’s not a personal opinion, it’s objective,” he said.

He called the explanation “a clear attempt to shift blame” and said it would “probably be better” for officers to remain silent until the investigation is complete.

He questioned how the Ministry of Defense could be “so sure” that the location of soldiers who had taken up residence in the school building could not be determined using a drone surveillance system or a local informant.

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“The coordinates of the objects are leaked, and important movements of people are regularly ‘sent’ to the SBU,” he said.

“The network is working, it is not sleeping,” Pegov said.

“Nor Ukrainian drones in the sky over Donetsk and Makiivka, which can not only provide information about the concentration of subscribers, but also confirm it visually.

He also insisted that the Ukrainian military would not use American-made HIMARS missiles unless it was certain of its target.

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“It’s an expensive high-precision weapon. The enemy obviously checks the information before hitting HIMARS,” he said. Ukraine does not shoot “just for luck”.

Pegov again cast doubt on the official Russian death toll, which was raised from 63 to 89 on Tuesday night, in what has already become one of the most devastating single attacks against Russia in the war.

“Unfortunately, their numbers will continue to grow,” he said. “Probable numbers for those that have been identified immediately.”

“I can’t reveal my sources, but I think they are reliable,” Pegov added. – The guys and I checked them several times.


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