Several rounds of explosions shook the Ukraine capital Kyiv shortly after the country welcomed the New Year. The Russian missiles rained down Kyiv and other cities even as the war-ravaged country celebrated the New Year. The new Year festivities were marred by air raid sirens and the sound of explosions.
Ukraine Shoots Down Missiles
Ukrainian authorities said they shot down as many as twenty missiles and that there were no immediate reports of casualties. The Russian missiles hit two districts, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram. He added that parts of missiles taken down by the air defense systems caused damage in central areas in Kyiv.
According to the Ukraine military command, Russia launched 31 missiles and 12 air strikes across the country in 24 hours, Reuters reported. According to the Kyiv police chief, a fragment of a Russian drone used in the attack had 'Happy New Year' written in Russian.
The renewed Russian strike came immediately after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was committed to score a victory over the Russians in 2023. "We fight and will continue to fight. For the sake of the main word: 'victory' ... I want to say to all of you: Ukrainians, you are incredible! See what we have done and what we are doing ... We fight as one team -- the whole country, all our regions. I admire you all. I want to thank every invincible region of Ukraine," Zelensky said in the emotional speech.
Meanwhile, Russian President justified his war in Ukraine during his New Year address to the nation from the Kremlin. "I want to wish all of us one thing â victory ... And that's the main thing. Let this year be the year of return. The return of our people," Putin said in the midnight address, which he delivered standing among military personnel who fought in Ukraine. The Russian president also said 'historical rightness' was on Moscow's side.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering the 11th month. On Saturday, Russia said six people were killed when a hospital in Donetsk was attacked by Ukraine. The Russian media said Ukraine had launched multiple attacks in Moscow-controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.