Russian rage at commanders over Ukrainian strike

STORY: Emergency workers are still clearing the rubble of a building in the city of Makiivka, days after it was shelled.

The New Year's Eve strike by Ukrainian forces destroyed a temporary barracks in a vocational college here for Russian troops - marking one of the bloodiest incidents in the war so far.

The city is in the Russian-controlled Donetsk region of Ukraine - and in a rare disclosure, Russia's defense ministry said 63 soldiers were killed in the strike.

Russian nationalists and some lawmakers have demanded punishment for the commanders they accused of ignoring dangers.

Critics said the soldiers were being housed alongside an ammunition dump at the site, despite commanders knowing it was within range of Ukrainian rockets.

Ukraine and some Russian nationalist bloggers have put the death toll in the hundreds, though pro-Russian officials say those estimates are exaggerated.

Several Russian cities held rallies to commemorate the dead.

This video from a Russian news agency shows mourners laying flowers in the city of Samara - where some of the drafted soldiers had come from.

Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.

President Zelenskiy did not mention Makiivka strike in his nightly speech on Monday.

He instead accused Russia of planning attacks using Iranian drones to "exhaust" Ukraine.

Russia has increasingly resorted to mass air strikes against Ukrainian cities after suffering defeats on the battlefield in the second half of 2022.

It denies targeting civilians.

Ukrainian officials said Russia had struck Ukraine-controlled parts of the Donetsk region on Monday, including an ice rink in Druzhkivka.