Russian New Year raids on Ukraine leave 4 dead, dozens injured
Russia’s New Year’s Eve attacks in Ukraine this weekend left four dead and dozens injured as Moscow claimed on Sunday it had thwarted Kiev’s “terrorist attacks” on the homeland.
The Ukrainian capital and other cities came under fire from Iranian-made missiles and drones on Saturday, killing three people.
At least one drone had scribbled the Russian words “Happy New Year” in red, according to a photo released by Ukrainian authorities.
Another attack on Sunday killed one person in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia and injured three others, authorities said.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, pointed out that Russia’s New Year’s attacks targeted the inner cities of major cities and pointed to a change in tactics by Moscow.
“Russia has run out of military targets and is trying to kill as many civilians as possible and destroy more civilian facilities,” he tweeted. “A war to kill.”
In a New Year’s Eve attack in the southern Kherson region, a 13-year-old boy was twice targeted by Russian attacks, the second time in intensive care, officials said.
The attacks came as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine enters its eleventh month.
Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, said on Sunday that “the New Year’s greetings from the Russians” arrived in the city of Orikhiv at noon.
One person was killed and three others injured.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Zelensky’s office, said two people were killed in Kiev and the southern Kherson region on Saturday and 50 others were injured.
A 22-year-old woman was seriously injured in the western city of Khmelnytskyi and later died of her injuries, Governor Serhiy Gamaliy said.
On New Year’s Eve, Russian artillery struck the village of Naddniprianske outside the town of Kherson, seriously injuring a 13-year-old boy, Yaroslav.
“The boy was taken to the hospital in serious condition, where doctors literally raised him from the dead,” wrote Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich.
Then the Russian army hit the hospital where the boy was in intensive care, smashing the windows of the ward.
“The boy was evacuated to Mykolaiv, where doctors continue to fight for his life,” Yanushevich told Telegram messaging app.
“What did the 13-year-old boy do with those inhuman creatures that they tried to kill him twice?”
Russian shelling damaged the hospital in Kherson and also left the city and surrounding settlements without electricity.
Russian troops withdrew from Kherson, the only regional capital held by Moscow, in November, but continued to attack the city.
The Ukrainian Air Force said 45 Iranian-made drones were destroyed overnight.
Thirteen were shot down at the end of 2022 and another 32 after midnight.
Kiev police chief Andriy Nebitov posted a photo of the wreckage of a crashed drone with the words “Happy New Year” in Russian.
“That’s all you need to know about the terrorist state and its army,” he said.
In the eastern region of Donetsk, pro-Russian separatist authorities said Ukrainian shelling killed a civilian in the town of Yasynuvata.
After a series of humiliating military defeats, Russia began targeting Ukraine’s infrastructure in October, leaving millions in the cold and darkness.
“Moral and historical correctness is on our side,” Putin said as he gave his midnight speech, standing among men and women dressed in military uniforms.
Moscow said on Sunday its New Year’s attacks targeted the pro-Western country’s drone production.
Russia’s defense ministry said a strike hit “the facilities of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex” involved in drone production.
“Storage facilities and launch sites” for the drones were also destroyed, the ministry said.
“The plans of the Kiev regime to carry out terrorist attacks against Russia in the near future have been thwarted.”
Russia has accused Ukraine of attacks on its national military sites and infrastructure.
Russian forces shot down a drone on Thursday near Engels, a Russian strategic airbase hundreds of miles from the Ukrainian border.
Russia also said on Monday it shot down a drone over Engels airport and that falling debris killed three people.
In early December, Moscow said Soviet-made Ukrainian drones attacked that base and another in the Ryazan region, killing three people.
Kiev has a policy of not claiming responsibility for such raids.
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