- Cruise missiles were launched in several cities – the Air Force of Ukraine
- 3 injured in explosions in Kiev – Mayor
- Russia’s Lavrov says Ukrainian peace plan is an “illusion”.
KYIV, Ukraine, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Russia fired more than 100 missiles into Ukraine on Thursday morning, wounding three people in a massive aerial bombardment targeting the capital Kyiv, the northeastern city of Kharkiv and other cities, Ukrainian officials said.
Ukraine’s air force said the attacks included sea- and air-based cruise missiles launched “from different directions” and continued overnight attacks by ‘kamikaze’ drones. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said the number of missiles fired was more than 120. Air raid sirens blared across Ukraine.
The latest outburst came sharply against the backdrop of the Kremlin’s rejection of a Ukrainian peace plan, insisting that Kyiv accept Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions.
“Two private houses in Darnytsky District were damaged by fragments of downed missiles,” the Kyiv City Military Administration said in a telegram.
It said a business and a playground were also damaged and the condition of the victims was “under investigation”. Mayor of
In Kyiv, Vitaly Klitschko said 16 missiles were fired at the capital.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Derekov said authorities were clarifying what was hit and whether there were any casualties after Russian missiles caused a series of explosions.
Lviv’s mayor, Andriy Sadovyi, said in a telegram that 90% of his city in western Ukraine was without electricity and that electric public transport was not running.
Explosions were also heard in Zhytomyr and Odesa, according to a Reuters reporter and local media reports.
Air defense units shot down 21 missiles in the Odesa region of southwestern Ukraine, its governor Maxim Marceno said. Fragments of a missile hit a residential building, but there were no casualties, he said.
Blackouts were announced to limit potential damage to energy infrastructure in the Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk regions.
Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, but Ukraine says its daily bombardment is destroying towns, cities and the country’s power, medical and other infrastructure.
A Russian shell hit the maternity ward of a hospital in the southern city of Kherson on Tuesday, but no one was injured, Kyrillo Tymoshenko, a deputy to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said. Staff and patients were moved to shelters, Tymoshenko said in a post on Telegram.
“It was scary … the explosions started suddenly, the window handle started tearing … Oh, my hands are still shaking,” said Olha Prysitko, a new mother. “When we got to the base, the shelling didn’t stop. Not even for a minute.”
Ukraine recaptured Kherson last month in a major victory, but the city continues to be bombed after Russian forces retreated to the east bank of the Dnipro River.
Zelenskiy, in a video address, urged Ukrainians to hug loved ones, express their appreciation to friends, support colleagues, thank their parents and be happy with their children often.
“Even though we have endured brutal months, we have not lost our humanity,” he said. “Even though we have a tough year ahead, we won’t lose it.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” to militarize his neighbor. Kiev and its Western allies have denounced Russia’s actions as an imperialist-style land grab.
Russia has been hit with heavy sanctions for the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people, driven millions from their homes, left cities in ruins and rocked the global economy, driving up energy and food prices.
Russian gas exports to Europe via pipelines fell to a post-Soviet low in 2022 as the Ukraine conflict cut its biggest customer imports and a major pipeline was damaged by mysterious explosions, Gazprom data and Reuters calculations show.
There is still no chance of talks to end the war.
Zelensky has been actively promoting a 10-point peace plan that would see Russia respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and withdraw all its troops.
But Moscow rejected that on Wednesday, reiterating that Kyiv must accept four oblasts — Luhansk and Donetsk in the east and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south — for Russian annexation. It also says Ukraine must accept the loss of Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.
“With the entry of four regions into Russia, there cannot be any peace plan that does not take into account today’s realities regarding Russian territory,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Zelensky’s idea of forcing Russia out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea with Western help and forcing Moscow to compensate Kiev was an “illusion,” RIA news agency reported.
TASS quoted Lavrov as saying that Russia would continue to build up its combat power and technical capabilities in Ukraine. He said Moscow’s mobilized troops had undergone “intense training” and that while many were now on the ground, the majority were still not on the frontlines.
Zelenskiy called for unity in Ukraine’s parliament and praised Ukrainians for helping the West “reinvent itself.”
“Our national colors are today an international symbol of courage and indomitability to the entire world,” he said in an annual address held behind closed doors.
Report by Reuters Bureaus; By Himani Sarkar, Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Michael Perry and Gareth Jones
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