Russian nationalists and some lawmakers have demanded punishment for commanders they accused of ignoring dangers as anger grew over the killing of dozens of Russian soldiers in one of the Ukraine war's deadliest strikes.

Credit-Getty images

Russia's defence ministry said 63 soldiers were killed on New Year's Eve in a fiery blast that destroyed a temporary barracks in a vocational college in Makiivka, twin city of the Russian-occupied regional capital of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Credit-Getty images

Russian critics said the soldiers were being housed alongside an ammunition dump at the site, which the Russian defence ministry said was hit by four rockets fired from U.S.-made HIMARS launchers.

Credit-Getty images

The New Year's Eve strike on Makiivka came as Russia was launching what have become nightly waves of drone attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.

Credit-Getty images

Ukrainian officials said Russia had on Monday struck Ukraine-controlled parts of the Donetsk region, hitting the village of Yakovlivka, the city of Kramatorsk and destroying an ice rink in the town of Druzhkivka.

Credit-Getty images

Ukraine said the Russian death toll in Makiivka was in the hundreds, though pro-Russian officials called that an exaggeration.

Credit-Getty images

Russian military bloggers said the extent of the destruction was a result of storing ammunition in the same building as a barracks, despite commanders knowing it was within range of Ukrainian rockets.

Credit-Getty images

Igor Girkin, a former commander of pro-Russian troops in eastern Ukraine who is now one of the highest profile Russian nationalist military bloggers, said hundreds had been killed or wounded. Ammunition had been stored at the site and military equipment there was uncamouflaged, he said.

Credit-Getty images

Credit-Getty images