UK Defense Ministry Says Russia Likely Undercounting New Year’s Day Strike Casualties


Britain’s Defense Ministry said Saturday that Russia most likely is undercounting the casualties in the New Year’s Day attack on its facilities at Makivka.

In a Defense Intelligence Update, the UK Defense Ministry said that, “Russia highly likely suffered more than 300 casualties in a strike on troop accommodation at Makivka near Donetsk City on 01 January 2023. We assess that the majority were likely killed or missing, rather than wounded.”

The Defense Ministry noted that following the strike, the Russian Ministry of Defence took the rare step of publicly acknowledging it had suffered casualties, claiming 89 killed.

“Russian officials likely assessed that it was not viable to avoid comment in the face of widespread criticism of Russian commanders over the incident,” the UK Defense Ministry speculated in its update.

With regard to the difference in reported casualties, the Defense Ministry explained that, “The difference between the number of casualties Russia acknowledged and the likely true total highlights the pervasive presence of disinformation in Russian public announcements.”

“This typically comes about through a combination of deliberate lying authorised by senior leaders, and the communication of inaccurate reports by more junior officials, keen to downplay their failings in Russia’s “blame and sack’ culture,” the Britain’s Defense Ministry update concluded.

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