Sat. Apr 1st, 2023
Bombings, air raid sirens herald start of new year in Ukraine

KIEV (Reuters) – Following a barrage of missiles launched on Saturday, Russia launched heavy strikes against Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine early on New Year’s Day, with air raid sirens blaring for hours into the night. rice field.

The Ukrainian Air Force Command said it had destroyed 45 Iranian-made Shahed drones. Of these, 32 were shot down after midnight on Sunday and 13 were shot down after midnight on Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggests in his militant New Year’s speech that the war, now in its 11th month, will continue, contrasting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s message of gratitude and unity. Met.

“Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!” shouted some from balconies as sirens blared for more than four hours in Kyiv. A Reuters eyewitness reported.

With curfews remaining across the country from 7pm to midnight, we weren’t able to celebrate the start of 2023 in public.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on social media that preliminary reports show that debris from the destroyed missile caused minimal damage to the center of the capital and no injuries or casualties. said.

Ukraine’s high command said in a report on Sunday that Russia had launched 31 missiles and 12 airstrikes across the country in the past 24 hours.

US Ambassador to Ukraine Brigitte Brink tweeted: “Early in the New Year, Russia attacked Ukraine with cold and cowardice. But Putin still doesn’t seem to understand that Ukrainians are made of steel.” Stated.

Kyiv police chief Andriy Nevitov posted on his Telegram messaging app a photo purported to be part of the drone used in the attack on the capital, with the words “Happy New Year” written in Russian. It has a handwritten signature.

“These wreckage are not on the front lines where heavy fighting is taking place, but here, on the playgrounds where children play,” said Nevitov.

People gather next to a Christmas tree to celebrate New Year’s Eve before curfew as Russia attacks Ukraine on December 31, 2022, in front of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

At least one person was killed and 12 wounded in Kyiv on Saturday. Russia has carried out a number of shelling attacks over the past few months, mainly on Ukraine’s energy and water infrastructure.

The latest attacks damaged infrastructure in Sumy in the northeast of Ukraine, Khmelnytsky in the west, and Zaporizhia and Kherson in the southeast and south, the chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said.

Dnipropetrovsk Region Governor Valentin Reznichenko said early Sunday morning that several communities in the region had come under heavy shelling overnight, injuring one person, and “let’s keep quiet for the day.” Stated.

Separately, Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Russian southern region of Belgorod, which borders Ukraine, said overnight shelling on the outskirts of the town of Shevekino damaged houses but caused no casualties. .

Russian media also reported multiple Ukrainian attacks on Moscow-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with local officials saying at least nine people were injured.

Russia’s RIA state news agency, citing a local doctor, reported that six people were killed in an attack on a Donetsk hospital on Saturday.

Kyiv has rarely publicly claimed responsibility for attacks within Russia or on Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine.

Reuters was unable to independently verify Russian media reports.

Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, calling it a “special operation” to “de-Naz” and demilitarize Ukraine, which he said was a threat to Russia. Kyiv and its Western allies say Putin’s invasion was simply an imperialist land grab.

Russian forces have been engaged in heavy fighting in the east and south of Ukraine for months as they try to defend the lands that Moscow declared annexed in September and make up the wider Ukraine’s industrial Donbass region.

Reporting by Gleb Garanich, Valentyn Ogirenko, Dan Peleshchuk, Sergiy Karazy. Written by Lydia Kelly. Edited by Daniel Wallis, Rosalba O’Brien and Kim Coghill

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