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Putin’s ‘Terror’ Campaign Against Ukraine Means Targeting Residential Areas

TOS-1A Thermobaric Weapons Used in Ukraine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Russian TOS-1A. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russian forces launched another aggressive bombing campaign on Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities on Thursday, causing yet more power outages. The barrage of missiles fired at Ukraine was one of the biggest aerial assaults conducted by the Russian military since the beginning of the war.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the attacks as “senseless barbarism” in a tweet.

“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,” Kuleba said.

In a tweet on Thursday, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov said Ukrainian forces down 54 of 69 missiles launched by the Russians.

According to the Ukrainian Air Force, Russian forces dispatched attack drones to several Ukrainian regions overnight, later accompanying drone strikes with a series of air and sea-launched missiles.

Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak also claimed on Thursday that more than 120 missiles were fired at Ukrainian cities that day. While Russia has consistently denied claims that Russian forces frequently target residential buildings, many of the successful strikes performed today damaged residential buildings in Kyiv, Lviv, and other cities.

At least 18 residential buildings were damaged in the strikes, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. 10 pieces of critical infrastructure were also damaged in 10 different regions in Ukraine, suggesting Russia is committed to its goal of taking out key Ukrainian energy and water infrastructure. Russian forces have launched attacks on water and energy supplies on a weekly basis since October, in what appears to be an effort to cause as much disruption and pain for Ukrainian civilians through the winter.

Retired Army Sgt. Jonathan Lubecky, who is currently in Kyiv delivering humanitarian aid, told 19FortyFive that the strikes on residential buildings are undoubtedly deliberate.

“They are targeting energy infrastructure, yes, and residential areas that, based on what I saw, were nowhere near any energy infrastructure or critical government buildings,” Lubecky told 19FortyFive from Kyiv.

“So part of it is a terror campaign. Putin is trying to break their will,” Lubecky also said.

The U.S. Iraq veteran also said that while Ukraine may be quick to describe attacks on infrastructure as deliberate attacks on residential buildings, in this instance, at least, the attacks do appear to be purposely targeted at residential buildings.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that “several explosions” were heard in the city, initially injuring three people.

The Telegram post added that 16 missiles were destroyed before they reached their intended targets and that 40% of the city’s residents had been left without electricity following the strikes.

In Lviv, 90% of residents were left without electricity, according to Mayor Andriy Sadovyi.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.