A few minutes after midnight on New Year’s Eve, there were numerous explosions in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv.
At least 20 cruise missiles were fired at targets across Ukraine on Sunday in what officials there called “New Year’s Eve terror.”
The new attack set off air raid sirens across the country, while some people in Kyiv took to their balconies to shout “Glory to Ukraine!” Glory to the heroes.”
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko reported via Telegram that the first explosions of the New Year began 30 minutes after midnight and took place in two districts. According to him, there is no information about the injured yet.
The military administration of the city announced that 23 “air objects” launched by Russia were destroyed and air defense systems were operational.
In the evening, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainians will fight until victory in the eleven-month war.
“We will fight and fight. For the main word: “victory”, he said in his emotional address. “I want to tell you all: Ukrainians, you are amazing! Look at what we’ve done, what we’re doing!”
“We will fight as a team – the whole country, all our regions. I admire you all. I want to thank every invincible region of Ukraine,” he added.
In the previous round of attacks on Kyiv, the Alfavito Hotel and an apartment building were damaged, killing at least one person and injuring around a dozen. According to Klitschko, a Japanese journalist was among the injured and was taken to hospital.
23-year-old film director Yaroslav Mutenko, who lives in an apartment complex near the Alfavito hotel, said that he was in the shower preparing to go to a New Year’s party when he heard a commotion. He said there had been similar explosions in the area during a previous attack in October, but nothing as severe as Saturday’s blast.
As rescuers cordoned off the street in front of the hotel, he told AFP he still planned to attend a party at a friend’s house.
“Our enemies, the Russians, can break our peace, but they cannot break our spirit,” he said. “Why do I celebrate with my friends? Because this year I realized that it is important to be around people.”
Raids also took place in the southern city of Nikolaev, where local authorities said seven people were injured.
Governor Vitaly Kim said via Telegram that Russia had targeted civilians in the raids, a charge Moscow has previously denied. “According to today’s trend, the occupiers strike with a critical eye [infrastructure] … in many cities [they are targeting] just residential areas, hotels, garages, roads,” he said.
The attacks came at an unusually accelerated pace, alarming officials 36 hours after Russia fired missiles to damage energy infrastructure on Thursday.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba emphasized that civilians suffered from this latest attack – “this time Russia’s massive missile attack is deliberately targeting populated areas and even energy infrastructure.” “War criminal Putin is celebrating the New Year by killing people,” he added, calling for Russia to be stripped of its permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.
Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Dmitry Lubinets described the attack as “New Year’s Eve terror.”
And the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine responded by protesting.
“With each new missile attack on civilian infrastructure, more and more Ukrainians are convinced that it is necessary to fight until the complete fall of Putin’s regime,” the Telegram page said.
A curfew from 7:00 p.m. to midnight local time remained in force across Ukraine, making it impossible to celebrate the beginning of 2023 in public places.
Several provincial governors posted messages on social media warning residents not to violate restrictions on New Year’s Eve.