New Year in war: Ukraine accuses Russia of "war of killing" - Kyiv under fire again on New Year's Day

Russia continued its massive air raids on Ukraine at the turn of the year.

New Year in war: Ukraine accuses Russia of "war of killing" - Kyiv under fire again on New Year's Day

Russia continued its massive air raids on Ukraine at the turn of the year. According to Ukrainian sources, at least four people were killed and dozens more injured over the weekend. Head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced in his New Year's speech that the Ukrainians would continue to fight until they defeated Russia.

Throughout New Year's Eve and into the night, the Russian army attacked Ukraine from the air. According to Ukrainian authorities, a total of three people were killed on Saturday in the capital Kyiv and in the southern region of Kherson. There were also around 50 injuries. According to the authorities, another person was killed in an attack in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia on Sunday.

In his emotional speech Zelenskyy paid great respect to his compatriots. "I want to tell you all: Ukrainians, you are amazing." "Each of us is a fighter," the President continued. Ukrainians fought "as one team - the whole country, all regions."

Zelenskyj's adviser Mykhailo Podoliak accused the Russian army of a new strategy. "Russia has no more military targets," Podoliak tweeted on Sunday. "It (Russia) is trying to kill as many civilians as possible and destroy as many civilian objects as possible. A war of killing."

With regard to the attacks on Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense spoke of precision attacks with long-range missiles on Ukrainian drone factories, which the Ukrainian leadership wanted to use for "terrorist attacks" in the near future.

As reporters from the AFP news agency reported, Kyiv was shaken by several detonations on Saturday afternoon. One of them tore a gaping hole in a four-star hotel. Shortly after the turn of the year, Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported renewed attacks via Telegram. Around half an hour after midnight (local time, 11:30 p.m. CET), Russian shells hit two districts of Kyiv. "Heard an explosion in the capital. Air defense works," said Klitschko.

According to the authorities, several other regions were also fired upon. Attacks with several injuries were reported from the southern Mykolaiv region and from the Khmelnytskyi region in the west, among others.

Many Ukrainians still celebrated New Year's Eve. Because of the nightly curfew, they often held slumber parties. "Our enemies, the Russians, can destroy our calm, but not our state of mind," said the 23-year-old filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko from Kiev to the AFP news agency.

Ukraine's air defenses said Sunday they shot down 45 Iranian-made drones fired by Russia on New Year's Eve. Earlier, the Ukrainian army said Russia fired 20 cruise missiles at targets in Ukraine, 12 of which were intercepted. "War criminal Putin 'celebrates' New Year's Eve by killing people," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his New Year's address from the headquarters of Russia's southern military district, where he decorated soldiers, according to the Kremlin. Among them, according to Russian agency reports, was the commander of the Ukraine mission, General Sergei Surovikin. Television images showed Putin holding a glass of champagne with soldiers in military uniform.

Russia is "morally" and "historically" on the right side in the conflict with Ukraine, Putin said in his speech. Russia is fighting in Ukraine to "protect our people in our own historical territories, in the new territories of the Russian Federation," he added, referring to the Ukrainian regions declared annexed by Moscow.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said a civilian was killed in Ukrainian bombings in Yasynuvata, Donetsk region, on Sunday. There and in neighboring Makiivka, 15 people were also injured.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the capture of the village of Doroshnyanka in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia and a prisoner exchange in which 82 Russian soldiers were released. Kyiv reported 140 Ukrainian soldiers released in the exchange.

The Russian army had suffered a series of setbacks in Ukraine in recent months. In response, it stepped up its airstrikes, particularly on the neighboring country's energy infrastructure.

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