Apparently four Himars rockets hit a military camp of the Russian army in the Donetsk region at 00.01 on January 1. Many Russian soldiers died. Now survivors and relatives tell what picture presented itself.

Russian authorities confirm the death of 63 recruits in a rocket hit near Donetsk. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, speak of several hundred. Eyewitness accounts and stories from relatives suggest that the Russians understated the number rather massively.

One thing is clear: the impact of four Himars rockets on a school in Makiivka that had been converted into a military camp cost the lives of many Russians. Now there are first reports from survivors, which fell on the stationed on January 1st at 12:01 am.

The relatives of two soldiers from the Samara region say that around 400 soldiers were in the building at the time of the attack. Some could have fled after the first rocket hit. One of these soldiers says that many of the dead can only be identified by DNA tests. “We had to wipe their brains off our shoes,” said the survivor.

A relative of one survivor relates: “Many more [than the confirmed 63] were killed. They’re still pulling the dead out from under the rubble.” A recruit’s wife also says there are definitely more dead. “I know that many of them were hit in such a way that there is hardly anything left of them.”

Another wife says: “My husband sent me a message. He’s alive and well. Called other survivors. They walk around naked in flip flops.” There is nothing left: no medication, no money, no food. “It’s bad.”

In Russia, too, there are speculations as to how the Ukrainians knew exactly where the hundreds of Russian soldiers were. British military historian Chris Owen dismissed speculation that mobile phone data betrayed the Russians as fables on Twitter. “It is unlikely that the military strike was lured by cell phone signals,” Owen said.

Relatives of the victims are more likely to assume that Ukrainian residents of the region provided the information to the army as informers. A Russian Telegram channel says: “Makiivka is a small town. Everyone can see who or what arrives on the premises. Especially when there are many fighters and war equipment. Not everyone there is for Russia. There are some spies.”