Numerous explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital Kiev minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day.

The attacks on Kiev on Sunday followed one barrage of at least 20 cruise missiles fired at targets across Ukraine in what officials there called “New Year’s Eve terror”.

The new attack set off air raid sirens across the country, and some people in Kiev took to their balconies and shouted, “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes”.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that the first explosions of the new year started about 30 minutes after midnight and hit two districts. He said there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The military city administration said 23 “air targets” launched by Russia had been destroyed and air defense systems were working.

Earlier in the evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Ukrainians would fight until they were victorious in the war, now in its eleventh month.

“We are fighting and will continue to fight. Because of the main word: ‘victory,'” he said in the emotional speech. “I want to say to all of you: Ukrainians, you are incredible! Look what we’ve done and what we’re doing!”

“We fight as one team – the whole country, all our regions. I admire you all. I want to thank every invincible region of Ukraine,” he added.

The earlier round of attacks on Kiev damaged the Hotel Alfavito and a residential building, killing at least one person and injuring at least a dozen others. Klitschko said a Japanese journalist was among those injured and taken to a hospital.

Filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko, 23, who lives in an apartment complex near the Hotel Alfavito, said he was in the shower preparing to go to a New Year’s Eve party when he heard a bang. He said there had been similar explosions in the area during a previous attack in October, but nothing as loud as Saturday’s blast.

Watching rescuers cordon off the street in front of the hotel, he told AFP news agency that he still planned to go to the party at a friend’s house.

“Our enemies, the Russians, can destroy our composure, but they cannot destroy our spirit,” he said. “Why am I going to celebrate with friends? Because this year I understand that it is important to have people close by.”

Raids were also reported in the southern city of Mykolaiv, where seven people were injured, according to a local official.

Governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram that Russia had targeted civilians with the raids, something Moscow has previously denied. “According to current trends, the occupiers are not only critical [infrastructure] … in many cities [they are targeting] just residential areas, hotels, garages, roads,” he said.

The attacks came at an unusually accelerated pace, one that alarmed officials just 36 hours after Russia launched a barrage of missiles to damage energy infrastructure facilities on Thursday.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stressed the heavy toll of this latest offensive on the civilian population – that “this time Russia’s massive missile attack is deliberately targeting residential areas, not even energy infrastructure”. “War criminal Putin ‘celebrates’ New Year by killing people,” he added, calling for Russia to be stripped of its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets described the attack as “New Year’s Eve terror”.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, responded with a statement of defiance.

“With each new missile attack on civilian infrastructure, more and more Ukrainians are convinced of the need to fight until the complete collapse of Putin’s regime,” Telegram said.

Curfews ranging from 7 p.m. to midnight local time remained in effect across Ukraine, making celebrations impossible in public areas for the start of 2023.

Several regional governors posted messages on social media warning residents not to violate restrictions on New Year’s Eve.

Source link

By wy9m6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *