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Russia strikes Ukraine hours before the New Year

Russia strikes Ukraine hours before the New Year

KYIV: Russian strikes yesterday (Dec 31) targeted Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, just hours before New Year’s Eve celebrations while President Vladimir Putin told Russians that “historical rightness” was on their side.

RussianUkraineviolencepolitics
By AFP

Sunday 1 January 2023, 11:53AM


Explosions shook the Ukraine capital Kyiv yesterday (Dec 31). Photo: AFP

Explosions shook the Ukraine capital Kyiv yesterday (Dec 31). Photo: AFP

As Russian regions in the Far East rang in 2023, the Russian leader delivered his midnight address - usually set against the backdrop of the Kremlin - standing among servicemen and women who fought in Ukraine.

At around the same time, explosions shook the Ukrainian capital where AFP journalists heard around 10 loud blasts in the early afternoon.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on social media that at least one person died as a result of the attacks and 20 others were injured.

An explosion tore open one corner of the four-star Hotel Alfavito in Kyiv, spilling rubble into the street, an AFP reporter saw.

Nearby sidewalks were covered in glass from blown-out windows in the area, including from Kyiv’s National Palace of Arts.

Filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko, 23, lives in a nearby apartment complex and said he was in the shower preparing to go to a New Year’s Eve party when he heard a boom.

He said there had been similar explosions in the area during a previous attack in October, but nothing as loud as yesterday’s explosion.

As he watched rescue workers cordon off the street in front of the hotel, he told AFP he still planned to go to the party at a friend’s house.

“Our enemies the Russians can destroy our calm but they cannot destroy our spirit,” he said.

“Why do I go celebrate with friends? Because this year I understand that it is important to have people near.”

The attacks come as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine enters its 11th month, with Russian strikes systematically targeting energy infrastructure, leaving millions in the cold and dark in the middle of winter.

According to mayor Klitschko, 30% of Kyiv’s residents were left without electricity due to emergency power cuts after the strikes yesterday.

Strikes were also reported in the southern city of Mykolaiv where a local official said six people were injured.

Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Sienkievych had said earlier that a fire broke out in one of the city’s districts and several residential buildings sustained damage as a result of the strikes.

Fashion TV

Putin ‘celebrates’ New Year

In the west, at least seven people were wounded in the Khmelnytskyi region, governor Sergiy Gamaliy said, adding that part of the city of Khmelnytskyi was left without power.

According to Ukraine’s army, Russia launched 20 cruise missiles yesterday, with 12 shot down.

“War criminal Putin ‘celebrates’ New Year by killing people,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin delivered his New Year’s speech from the headquarters of Russia’s southern military district, where he was on a visit earlier yesterday and presented awards to servicemen.

Among the recipients of the awards was Russia’s commander in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, Russian news agencies said.

Footage released by Russian state TV showed Putin raising a glass of champagne with soldiers dressed in military uniform, some with awards pinned to their chest.

In his traditional New Year’s Eve address, broadcast by channels just before midnight, Putin told Russians that “moral, historical rightness is on our side”.

Putin said that this year was marked by “truly pivotal, fateful events” which became “the frontier that lays the foundation for our common future, for our true independence”.

“Today we are fighting for this, protecting our people in our own historical territories, in the new constituent entities of the Russian Federation,” he added, referring to four Ukrainian regions that Russia claimed to have annexed.

Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a message to his servicemen that Russia’s victory in Ukraine was “inevitable”.

The defence ministry also announced the capture of the village of Dorozhnyanka in the southern Zaporizhzhia region - a rare gain claimed as Russia suffered a string of defeats on the ground in Ukraine.

The ministry also said that 82 Russian servicemen were freed as part of a prisoner exchange with Ukraine.

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Kurt | 03 January 2023 - 18:13:35

Poolie, My country is a Nato member, support the Ukraine. My solidair fight is a financial contribution, paying tax for support Ukraine. Putin will loose this war. Leaving Russia with a enormous hang over. So sad.

Pooliekev | 03 January 2023 - 16:05:24

@Kurt. You'll be volunteering to go and 'neutralise' these Russian animals and criminals then?

Kurt | 02 January 2023 - 08:21:35

Russian war criminals/animals.

 

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