The Russian Defense Ministry statement said the retaliatory operation was carried out in response to Ukraine’s missile attack on the temporary position of Russian soldiers in the Makeyevka city of the Donetsk region at the beginning of the year.
The statement said that over the past 24 hours, Russian intelligence detected the temporary deployment points of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donetsk region's Kramatorsk city, and this intelligence was confirmed by some independent channels.
"There were over 700 Ukrainian servicemen in dormitory №28 and over 600 servicemen in dormitory №47," said the statement.
"More than 600 Ukrainian servicemen have been eliminated as a result of a massive missile strike on these locations of temporary deployment of the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) units," it added. Meanwhile, Pavlo Kirilenko, the head of the Military Administration of the Donetsk region of Ukraine, said on Telegram that the Russian army fired seven missiles at the city of Kramatorsk, and there was no loss of life in the attack.
“After midnight, the enemy launched seven rocket attacks on Kramatorsk and two on Kostyantynivka. An educational institution, an industrial plant, and a garage were damaged in Kramatorsk, and an industrial estate in Kostyantynivka. Fortunately, there were no casualties,” he said.
Kirilenko said Russian forces also attacked the city of Horlivka in the region, and a civilian was killed. Donetsk, which borders Russia, is a region of Ukraine that has been ridden with conflict against Russian-backed separatists since 2014. In September, Moscow said it was annexing the region, a move rejected by most of the international community.