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Russian Troops Reportedly Killed While Waiting for General in Donetsk

Global Images Ukraine via Getty
Global Images Ukraine via Getty

Dozens of Russian troops have reportedly been killed as they stood in line in an open field awaiting the arrival of a top general in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Citing footage and photographs from the scene, the BBC’s Russian service reported Wednesday that up to 60 Russian troops were wiped out in the Ukrainian missile strike, which occurred Tuesday shortly before President Vladimir Putin and his defense minister gathered to boast of military victories in a televised meeting.

Members of several companies of the 36th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, based in the city of Borzya in the Zabaykalsky region, were said to have been hit in the reported HIMARS strike. A surviving soldier was quoted as lamenting that “commanders lined [them] up in an open field,” in footage cited by the BBC.

The news outlet said it had decided against publishing footage from the scene for ethical reasons.

Shortly after the reported deaths, authorities in the city of Borzya canceled a pro-war concert and several other celebratory events that had been scheduled for Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of the start of the full-scale war against Ukraine, according to local reports.

The regional governor, Alexander Osipov, announced on Telegram that he had sent members of the government to meet with loved ones of the soldiers and “offer any help and provide verified information” to families. The local government also issued a statement saying it was seeking to confirm the news, which several pro-Kremlin military bloggers also reported.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has not yet commented on the deaths.

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