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Reportedly launching more than 20 cruise missiles in quick succession. More than a dozen Ukrainian civilians were injured in the strikes, and at least one person was killed.
The second major missile strike in three days, with drone and artillery strikes having also occurred in towns from the north to the south on Friday, the New Year’s Eve attacks damaged civilian infrastructure and homes.
Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, confirmed that 12 of the 20 cruise missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian air defense systems, and that the Russians launched the missiles using Tu-95ns strategic bombers located in the Caspian Sea as well as a series of other ground-based missile launchers.
“The forces and means of our air defense destroyed 12 cruise missiles: 6 within Kyiv, 5 Zhytomyr and 1 Khmelnytskyi regions,” Zaluzhnyi wrote.
“Let’s hold on! We cannot be broken! Victory will be ours!”
Missiles struck roads, residential buildings, and infrastructure in the Kyiv, Khmelnytskyim, and Zhytomyr regions. Five districts of Kyiv saw extensive damage, including the destruction of a hotel and the Ukraine Palace concert hall.
Ukraine Was Hit Hard
Dramatic video footage shared on Telegram and Twitter shows the impact of the Russian missiles that struck Kyiv on New Year’s Eve.
In the video, residential buildings can be seen in a state of total disrepair, with destroyed rooves and streets scarred by huge flaming craters.
In one video, a person can be seen on a stretcher being taken to a nearby hospital.
Ukrainians Celebrate Anyway
Video footage and photographs shared online show how Ukrainians in Kyiv and other major cities continue to celebrate, despite the threat of Russian missiles. Ukrainians gathered in Sophia Square in Kyiv to celebrate the new year, some wearing costumes.
Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Jonathan Lubecky, who is currently located in a compound outside of central Kyiv, told 19FortyFive that people in the city center were “terrified,” with people rushing into subway stations and underground malls.
“Before I left, people were terrified. Everyone went to the subway stations, which are actually more like an underground mall because there aren’t subways running,” Lubecky said.
“People were calling loved ones to make sure they were alright, and to say they were fine. Some people couldn’t text because their hands were shaking so bad.”
Local people were required to return home before the 11 pm curfew.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.