As of Friday evening, Ukrainian authorities reported 31 dead and 152 injured. Deaths occurred in Dnipro, Karkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odessa, Lviv (Lemberg) and Kiev. The military in Kiev spoke of the “biggest airstrike” on Ukraine since the start of the war – nearly two years. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, Russia fired 158 missiles and combat drones against the country. Ukrainian commander Valery Zalushnij spoke of 122 rockets and cruise missiles and 36 drones. Since the beginning of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, there have never been such strong airstrikes in one day as they are now at the end of this year.
To date, the number of Russian missiles launched over Ukraine has been officially reported to be more than 90. This time, Saluschnyj said, air defenses were able to intercept more than 70 percent of Russian attacks. The strikes were conducted in several waves from different directions and used strategic bombing.
Shelling also caused injuries in the western Ukrainian city of Khmelnytskyi and Konotop, a small town in the Sumy region near the Russian border. Power outages in many parts of the country. At least nine people were killed in the capital alone. In the metro in Kiev, many sought protection from the attacks. Another rocket attack on Friday afternoon reportedly hit targets in the Sumy and Cherkasy regions. According to local news, there were injuries.
The Defense Ministry in Moscow only commented on the attack in passing and spoke of a “massage attack with high-precision weapons and drones”. It was carried out against military targets such as munitions factories, military airfields and arsenals. “All target objects were hit,” the ministry asserted.
“Today Russia fired with everything in its arsenal – Kinshal, S-300, cruise missiles, drones. Strategic bombers Ch-101/Ch-505 (Russian cruise missiles) were launched,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote. He spoke of great damage to the civil sector; A maternity ward, educational institutions, a shopping center and several private houses were attacked, he said. Zelenskyj accompanied his statements with a video showing, among other things, a completely destroyed shopping center.
The 45-year-old spoke of a terrorist act, but at the same time promised that Ukraine would respond to it. Russia will lose its war of aggression; And Ukraine will do everything to ensure its own security. To show his solidarity with the Ukrainian military, the head of state visited Avdiivka, a front-line town in the Donetsk region half surrounded by Russian troops, on Friday. The city was again at the center of fighting, the Ukrainian General Staff reported on Friday evening. Three battles were fought around the city, and ten in the immediate area. A total of 31 battles were counted before.
According to the Polish military, a Russian missile violated the airspace of NATO member Poland during the attack. “Everything points to a Russian missile entering Polish airspace. We tracked it on radar and then left the airspace again,” said Wiesla Kucula, the chief of staff in Warsaw. According to information, the rocket remained in Polish airspace for about three minutes and flew 40 kilometers.
Because of this incident, the Russian charge d'affaires in Warsaw was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He later said Poland had not provided him with any evidence of airspace violations, according to Russian media reports. According to the White House, US President Joe Biden was informed and expressed US solidarity with NATO partner Poland. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he had spoken to Polish President Andrzej Duda about the incident and that it now needed to be clarified. NATO remains vigilant and stands by Poland.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the heavy-handed Russian airstrikes and directly blamed Putin. “We will not let him win. We must stand by Ukraine – as long as it takes,” Sunak told X. He announced the delivery of 200 defense missiles to Kiev. Biden used the attack to appeal to the US Congress to approve more aid to Ukraine. “There is more at stake in this conflict than Ukraine,” he warned. “It affects the entire NATO alliance, Europe's security and the future of transatlantic relations.”
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a war of aggression against Ukraine and repeatedly fired on civilian targets far from the front. Last winter, energy supply facilities in particular were the target of Russian attacks. Experts warn against repeating this trick this winter. Moscow's goal is to plunge Ukrainians into cold and darkness to break the people's will to resist.