Russia has resumed striking missile attacks on Ukraine targeting Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other major cities, forcing civilians to seek shelter and knocking out power, Ukrainian officials say.
Russian missile attacks started early in the morning today, targeting energy infrastructure and residential buildings in different Ukrainian cities causing terror and chaos among the people right before the New Year.
“Senseless barbarism. These are the only words that come to mind seeing Russia launch another missile barrage at peaceful Ukrainian cities ahead of New Year,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted after the early morning barrage on Thursday.
Ukraine’s military said it shot down 54 missiles out of 69 launched by Russia in an attack that began at 7 am local time.
This comes following President Zelensky’s visit to the United States last week, where he addressed the issue with U.S. congress and urged them for further military support to the Ukrainian Army. His American counterpart, Joe Biden reiterated his country’s military support and weaponry to Ukraine to resist the Russian invasion.
Meanwhile, Sébastien Lecornu, French Defense Minister, in a visit to Kyiv pledged 200 million Euros and military equipment to Ukraine. This includes sophisticated anti-missile systems aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s air defense systems.
In a TV interview, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s conditions, “we never reject proposals to reach a political agreement in the Ukraine war. The agreements are already well-known. Non-negotiable conditions are the annexed territories, the four cities in eastern Ukraine belong to Russia.”
Russia started invading Ukraine on February 24, in what President Vladimir Putin calls a “special operation” to demilitarize its neighbor. However, things have rapidly changed in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war since then. Thousands of people died on both sides, scores of Ukrainians fled their country to survive the war, and many cities in Ukraine have come under Russian bombardment time and again.
On the contrary, President Zelensky pushes on the fact that Russia should respect Ukraine’s territory and pull out all its troops. However, Moscow emphasizes that Kyiv must accept Russia’s annexation of the four regions – Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south to reach a comprehensive conclusion to end the war.