Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

Shortly before the turn of the year, the arrival of so-called kamikaze drones from Russia was reported in Ukraine.

Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

Shortly before the turn of the year, the arrival of so-called kamikaze drones from Russia was reported in Ukraine.

Air alerts were raised for the cities of Odessa and Mykolaiv in the south and Dnipro in the center of the country, the Unian agency reported on Saturday evening. Mykolayiv military administrator Vitali Kim reported two formations of drones sighted in his area. The air defense opened fire on the Iranian-made Shahed drones.

Dead and injured in Kyiv

According to the authorities, there were dead and injured in new Russian rocket attacks on Ukraine shortly before the New Year. Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced in Kyiv that an elderly man was killed in the capital and 16 people were injured.

A journalist from Japan was among the injured. One dead person was also reported from the Zaporizhia region. According to Commander-in-Chief Valery Zalushny, there were a total of 20 rocket attacks in the country, 12 of which were intercepted, 6 of them in Kyiv alone.

The deputy head of the presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, published a photo and video of a partially destroyed hotel in Kyiv, which is also used by journalists, in the Telegram news service. It was an attack by "murderers and terrorists," he said. It makes the Russians happy at the holiday table to see a destroyed hotel in the heart of Kiev.

As a result of the impacts, the panes in the Palace of Culture "Palace Ukraine" were also destroyed, he said. Normally there are women with their children. It was fortunate that no one was there at the time of the attack.

Four people were injured in the western Ukrainian region of Khmelnytskyi and two were injured in Mykolaiv. Russia launched drone and missile attacks on Ukraine on Thursday. On the last day of the year there was again an air raid everywhere, which lasted around three hours in Kyiv alone. The authorities had called on people to seek shelter in bunkers.

Zelenskyy to Russia: Ukraine will never be forgiven

After the recent Russian rocket attack on Ukrainian cities with new destruction, Head of State Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Russian people directly in his video message. "A terrorist state will not be forgiven," he said in his somewhat premature daily video appearance. "And those who order such attacks and those who carry them out will not be forgiven, to say the least."

In Russian, Zelenskyy declared that Russia was not at war with NATO "as your propagandists lie." The war is also not for something historical. "It (the war) is for a person who stays in power until the end of his life," he said, referring directly to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. "And what's left of all of you, citizens of Russia, is none of his business."

Russia and Ukraine exchange prisoners again

Shortly before the New Year, Russia and Ukraine again exchanged prisoners of war. The head of the presidential office in Kyiv, Andriy Yermak, announced on Telegram that 140 Ukrainian soldiers had returned home. On the other hand, the Russian army received 82 of their relatives, the state agency Tass reported. The place and time of the exchange were not mentioned.

The former Russian prisoners of war, mostly wounded soldiers, were immediately flown to Moscow for further treatment, Tass reported. Eight women were among the released Ukrainians, Yermak said. The wounded were also handed over, as well as fighters from the port city of Mariupol. "Welcome home, dear ones," he concluded his Telegram message.

Kyiv: Russia's army needs five years to rebuild

According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov, the Russian army has lost a lot of its effectiveness over the years due to its losses in Ukraine. The Russian armed forces would need at least five years to rebuild. "According to the findings of NATO reconnaissance, the Russians have suffered enormous losses in tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers and soldiers," Resnikov was quoted as saying by the newspaper Ukrajinska Pravda.

"The regular armed forces of the Russian Federation could be restored in five years at the earliest, maybe in ten years," said the minister. That also applies to Russia's missile potential. After all, this is a war of resources. "And they (NATO) can calculate these resources."

Ukrainian artillery attacks Russian positions

Ukrainian artillery has attacked Russian positions in eastern Ukraine. The village of Pervomaiskoye in the Luhansk region of Donbass has been the target of at least two rounds of fire from the American Himars multiple rocket launcher, the Russian agency TASS reported, citing local authorities. No information was given about possible casualties or damage.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media reported explosions near Dzhankoy Airport in Russian-occupied Crimea. Messages from social networks were quoted, according to which the detonations could be attributed to the use of anti-aircraft missiles.

Zalushnyj: God is on our side

The Ukrainian army chief Valeriy Zalushnyi encouraged his soldiers in a video message at the turn of the year and the upcoming Orthodox Christmas. "We didn't want the war, but we accepted the fight," he said. "And God is on our side." Although this Christmas has "the taste of tears and the color of blood," the country has the strength to ward off the enemy, said Zalushny. "May our victory mark the beginning of Ukraine's prosperity and the end of Russia."