The Ukrainian military says it shot down two Russian drones in the latest aerial attack.
According to Ukrainian officials, Russia launched waves of drones against Kyiv, among other targets, overnight.
The leaders of Kyiv said that Ukraine’s air defenses worked well to protect the city, with some damage from fragments of downed drones being the only damage.
Vitali Klitschko said Monday that all 40 of the drones Russia sent toward the Kyiv region were destroyed.
Russia has used Iran-made Shahed drones to attack Ukrainian cities and infrastructure sites.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that his forces shot down 45 Shahed drones in a wave the night before the latest attacks.
Zelenskyy addressed the nation via television Sunday and said he would not alter the course he set when he was elected last year. “Russian terrorists are pathetic,” he said.
“…and they entered this year staying the same.”
Zelensky Condemns New Year’s Attacks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced Russia’s missile strikes in Ukraine in a New Year’s Eve video address.
“Today, this Russian missile attack is not the end of the year, no matter how much the terrorists want it. It’s the outcome of Russia’s fate,” he said.
In response to the Russian air strikes on Ukrainian airspace, Zelensky said, “The terrorist state will not be forgiven. Those who give orders for such strikes, and those who carry them out, will not be pardoned, to put it mildly.”
On Saturday morning, Ukrainian cities were struck by Russian missiles, resulting in at least one death and 30 injuries. Eight large explosions shook the capital, Kyiv, and other locations.
“We were told you have no other option, but to surrender. We say we have no other option than to win.”
“We haven’t lost anything,” Zelenskyy said. “It was taken from us. … We did not lose our lands — they were occupied by invaders. The world did not lose peace — Russia destroyed it.”
“He hides behind you and burns your country and your future. No one will ever forgive you for terror. No one in the world will forgive you for this. Ukraine will never forgive,” he continued.
For Zelensky and the Russians, the attack during New Year’s eve was another stark reminder that these “terrorists” would stop at nothing.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that one person was killed and a Japanese journalist was among the wounded in Saturday’s missile strikes in the western Solomianskyi district of Kyiv. Another person was hospitalized in critical condition. Klitschko urged residents to remain in shelters.
Buildings in downtown Kyiv were hit by missiles, including a hotel, a theater district concert hall, and the National Palace of Arts.
Missile strikes also hit targets in an industrial area in the Donetsk oblast, Honcharenko said, adding that explosions were reported elsewhere in Ukraine.
Vitaliy Kim, the governor of Mykolaiv oblast, said six people were wounded. Three people were hospitalized, one of whom was listed in critical condition.
Another missile injured four individuals in Khmelnytskyi, western Ukraine, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office. In Zaporizhzhia, a southeastern city, residential buildings were damaged, he said, but casualty and destruction information is being checked.
An airfield near the city of Dzhankoi in Russian-occupied Crimea was the scene of an explosion on Saturday afternoon, according to local Telegram channels.
Explosions were also heard at the Dzhankoi airport, controlled by Russian occupation forces. Ukrainian armed forces reported similar blasts at the airfield.
3 am in Kyiv, watching from my apartment remarkable work of Ukrainian air defence forces against Russian missiles and drones
More air defence and other weaponry for Ukraine – the sooner Russian will be defeated.
Those, who hesitate provide or not provide weaponry, help Russia pic.twitter.com/5CCMHioTcr
— Vitaliy Moroz ENG (@vitaliymoroz) January 2, 2023
Reports of missile launches were distributed on Telegram channels, stating that Dzhankoi had been hit with a precision strike weapon.
Both Ukrainian and occupation authorities declined to comment on the incident.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported on Telegram on Tuesday that its forces had killed or wounded up to 10 Russian troops, destroyed two vehicles, and damaged three others near the rebel-held city of Donetsk on the east front.
Putin’s New Year’s Address
In his video message broadcast on Russian state TV earlier Saturday, Putin said Russia was fighting in Ukraine to protect its ‘motherland’ and to secure ‘true independence’ for its people.
“The West lied about peace,” Putin said. “It was preparing for aggression … and now they are cynically using Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia. We have never allowed this and will never allow anybody to do this to us,” Russian state-run news agencies quoted Putin as saying in a speech broadcast at midnight in Russia’s Far East.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu praised the bravery of those fighting on the front lines and those who had died during the 10-month war in Ukraine, stating that victory was inevitable.
There has been an apparent division between the Russian mercenary firm Wagner Group and the Russian military, particularly as the battle is becoming more and more fierce in Bakhmut, the frontline Donbas city. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, criticized Russian military leadership and the sluggish war effort for not having enough bullets for their battles against Ukrainian forces due to the lack of ammunition.
“When you’re sitting in a warm office, it’s hard to hear about the problems on the front line, but when you’re dragging the dead bodies of your friends every day and seeing them for the last time — then supplies are very much needed,” said Wagner‘s Prigozhin.
Heavy fighting occurs in Bakhmut, where a dozen towns have been damaged by recent shelling. Russian troops are also continuing to bomb the southern city of Kherson with multiple rocket launchers, aircraft, and suicide drones.
Russia is looking to make incremental gains around Bakhmut in Donbas.