In Russia, the Ministry of Defense was criticized for spreading a fake statement about the «operation of retaliation» in Kramatorsk. This was reported by the American Institute for the Study of War.
On January 8, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the Russian occupying forces had carried out a «operation of retaliation» Ukrainian forces for the December 31 strike on Makiivka, which killed up to 400 mobilized soldiers due to mistakes by the Russian command and poor practice of dispersing personnel. The Russian Defense Ministry has spread false information that a retaliatory strike was directed at several temporary locations of Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk, as a result of which more than 600 Ukrainian servicemen were killed.
Several Russian military bloggers criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense, noting that the agency often makes false statements. The Russian military leadership was also criticized for fabricating a story with the aim of «retribution» for the Makeevka strike instead of holding the Russian leadership accountable for the losses.
Analysts point out that the reaction of the Russian Defense Ministry to the strike on Makeevka is a continuation of the established pattern of responding to complaints and retribution, which again made the Russian military leadership is the object of harsh criticism for waging war.