• More than 200 Ukrainian troops and foreign ‘mercenaries’ were killed, Russia’s Defense Ministry says

MOSCOW: Russian forces have destroyed several US-supplied HIMARS rocket launchers and eliminated scores of Ukrainian troops along with dozens of foreign fighters in the latest series of strikes, Moscow’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

According to the military, two launchers were destroyed at the Druzhkovka railway station in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The second pair of launchers was located near the Ukrainian-held city of Kramatorsk, and was firing at other DPR cities, the ministry added.

In addition, nine HIMARS rockets were intercepted near the front line in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), also in Donbass, as well as in Kherson Region to the north of Crimea, the statement said.

The Russian Air Force’s “precision strikes” on positions of the “foreign legion” fighting for Ukraine near Kramatorsk and Maslyakovka destroyed over 130 “foreign mercenaries,” it added.

Up to 120 Ukrainian soldiers were eliminated at Druzhkovka railway station, the military claimed.

This comes after Russia confirmed on Monday that over 60 of its soldiers were killed in the DPR city of Makeyevka, when Kiev forces targeted the building they were housed in with missiles fired from HIMARS launchers.

The strike had earlier been reported by the republic’s Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov, who said it happened precisely at 0:01 am on New Year’s night.

Ukraine continues to request more weapons from the US and other Western countries, while Moscow insists that deliveries of foreign arms to Kiev will not change the course of the conflict and can only lead to more casualties.

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