Russia pummels Ukraine with ‘massive’ wave of airstrikes; 16 reported killed

In Europe


An aerial view of a destroyed building after Russian strikes hit the city center in Dnipro, Ukraine on December 29, 2023. A mall, maternity hospital and many other buildings were damaged in the attack.

Anadolu | Anadolu | Getty Images

Russia on Friday launched one of its worst aerial attacks on Ukraine since the start of the war, killing at least 16 civilians, according to officials.

Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said around 110 Russian missiles and numerous drones targeted areas across the country, including a maternity ward, schools, hospitals, residential buildings and commercial areas.

Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk called it “the most massive attack from the air” on the messaging app Telegram.

“Today, Russia used nearly every type of weapon in its arsenal: ‘Kindzhals,’ S-300s, cruise missiles, and drones. Strategic bombers launched X-101/X-505 missiles. A total of around 110 missiles were fired against Ukraine, with the majority of them being shot down,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on X.

“We will surely respond to terrorist strikes. And we will continue to fight for the security of our entire country, every city, and every citizen. Russian terror must and will lose,” he added.

At least 16 people have been killed in the strikes, according to a tally of updates from various regional officials.

A woman walks past a damaged business centre after a rocket attack in the centre of Kyiv on December 29, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergei Chuzavkov | Afp | Getty Images

It comes after some officials revised the number of reported deaths higher. Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said the death toll in the capital was now three, after bodies were pulled from the rubble of a warehouse.

The Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office, meanwhile, said three died after Kharkiv city was hit 22 times over three hours starting at 5 a.m. local time. One death was reported in Lviv and six were reported in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Odesa’s governor said three people died and 22 were injured, including two children aged six and eight, and a pregnant woman.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Denise Brown condemned the attacks, which she said had killed and injured civilians in “almost every region of the country.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense said in its daily briefing Friday that it had carried out “50 group and one massive strike” between Dec. 23 and Dec. 29 using “precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles.”

It claimed the strikes were against military facilities and storage units, and Ukrainian armed forces units.





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