Russian missiles hammer Kyiv on New Year’s Eve

Emergency personnel gather at the scene of a missile attack on Dec. 31 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Russian missiles struck Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities Saturday, leaving a fresh wave of destruction ahead of the new year, per Ukrainian officials.

Driving the news: One person was killed and 20 others were injured, with damage to various buildings, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko.

  • Six people were injured in the southern city of Mykolaiv, Gov. Vitalii Kim said on Facebook.
  • The attack on the capital was not aimed at any military targets, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
  • “This time, Russia’s mass missile attack is deliberately targeting residential areas, not even our energy infrastructure,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet.

The big picture: The New Year’s Eve attack came just two days after Russia launched its largest missile barrage against Ukrainian cities since the beginning of the invasion, and after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that “the enemy” could launch more attacks to “make us celebrate the New Year in darkness.”

What they’re saying: “War criminal Putin ‘celebrates’ New Year by killing people,” Kuleba said, calling for Russia to be kicked off the UN Security Council, “which it has always occupied illegally.”

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a New Year’s address that the country’s future was at stake, framing the invasion of Ukraine as “defending our people and our historical lands,” per BBC.
  • “We always knew, and today it is confirmed to us yet again, that a sovereign, independent and secure future for Russia depends only on us, on our strength and will.”

Meanwhile, in his own address, Zelensky said most of the missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian air defense forces.

  • He also spoke directly to the Russian people, telling them that the invasion “is is not the war with NATO, as your propagandists lie.”
  • “It’s for one person to remain in power until the end of his life,” Zelensky said. “And what will be with all of you, citizens of Russia, does not concern him.”

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