Putin rains down 120 missiles on Ukraine

Putin rains down 120 missiles on Ukraine: Explosions are heard in multiple cities and the power is cut in Kyiv as kamikaze drones are fired from land and sea in the biggest attack for weeks

  • Presidential advisers said between 100-120 rockets and drones hit Ukraine today
  • Russia targeted capital Kyiv, second city Kharkiv and several other urban centres
  • Attacks come just hours after the Kremlin rejected Zelensky’s peace proposals 

Air raid sirens rang out across Ukraine this morning as Russia unleashed more than 100 missiles in a savage barrage which targeted the capital Kyiv and several other major cities.

‘A massive air raid. More than 100 missiles in several waves,’ presidential office adviser Oleksiy Arestovych wrote on Facebook, while another adviser Mykhailo Podolyak claimed more than 120 missiles had been fired at Ukraine.

Mayors of the capital Kyiv, Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv and the western city of Lviv all reported that Russian missiles had caused a series of explosions, while blasts were also heard in Zhytomyr, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk, according to local media reports.

The brutal blitz came hard on the heels of the Kremlin’s rejection of a Ukrainian peace plan, as both Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov insisted that Kyiv accept Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

Ukrainian air defence system intercepts a rocket launched by Russian forces in Kyiv, Ukraine on December 29, 2022

People shelter in the metro tunnels beneath the city of Kyiv as Russia unleashed a barrage of rocket and drone attacks this morning

Today’s strikes in Kyiv evoked scenes reminiscent of the Second World War as thousands of people took to the metro tunnels beneath the city in search of shelter. 

The Ukrainian Air Force said Russia first launched an assault of ‘kamikaze’ drones overnight before following it up with waves of air- and sea-based cruise missiles. 

Kharkiv’s mayor Ihor Terekhov said officials were clarifying what had been hit and whether there were any casualties, while Kyiv’s Vitali Klitschko warned of possible power cuts there and asked residents to charge their phones.

Power cuts were announced in the Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk regions, aimed at minimising potential damage to the energy infrastructure.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address urged Ukrainians to hug loved ones, tell friends they appreciate them, support colleagues, thank their parents and rejoice with their children more often.

‘We have not lost our humanity, although we have endured terrible months,’ he said. ‘And we will not lose it, although there is a difficult year ahead.’

A structure is burning following a missile strike by Russian forces on December 28, 2022 in Kostiantynivka, Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen fire with a CAESAR self-propelled howitzer towards Russian positions in eastern Ukraine on December 28, 2022

Military unit fires a 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the region of Donetsk, Ukraine, December 28, 2022

There is still no prospect of talks to end the war.

Zelensky is vigorously pushing a 10-point peace plan that envisages Russia respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and pulling out all its troops.

But Moscow dismissed it on Wednesday, reiterating Kyiv must accept Russia’s annexation of the four regions – Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south.

There can be no peace plan ‘that does not take into account today’s realities regarding Russian territory, with the entry of four regions into Russia’, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Zelensky’s idea of driving Russia out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea with Western help and getting Moscow to pay damages to Kyiv is an ‘illusion’, the RIA news agency reported.

TASS cited Lavrov as saying that Russia would continue to build up its fighting strength and technological capabilities in Ukraine. He said that Moscow’s mobilised troops had undergone ‘serious training’ and while many were now on the ground, the majority were not yet at the front.

Zelensky told parliament to remain united and praised Ukrainians for helping the West ‘find itself again’.

‘Our national colours are today an international symbol of courage and indomitability of the whole world,’ he said in an annual speech held behind closed doors.

Zelensky is vigorously pushing a 10-point peace plan that envisages Russia respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and pulling out all its troops

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Zelensky’s idea of driving Russia out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea with Western help and getting Moscow to pay damages to Kyiv is an ‘illusion’

Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, but Ukraine says its daily bombardment is destroying cities, towns, and the country’s infrastructrure from power to medical.

On Wednesday, Russian shelling hit the maternity wing of a hospital in the city of Kherson, though no-one was hurt, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, President Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff. 

Staff and patients were moved to a shelter, Tymoshenko said in a post on Telegram.

‘It was frightening… the explosions began abruptly, the window handle started to tear off… my hands are still shaking,’ Olha Prysidko, a new mother, said. 

‘When we came to the basement, the shelling wasn’t over. Not for a minute.’

Ukraine’s recently liberated southern city of Kherson has remained under constant bombardment from Russian forces which had retreated to the east bank of the river when the city was retaken in a major victory for Ukraine last month.

On the battlefront, Russia shelled more than 25 settlements around Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Wednesday. 

Workers clean up debris after Russian shelling of the hospital maternity unit in Kherson, southern Ukraine, on December 28, 2022

Ukrainian army medics treat a wounded Ukrainian soldier in a hospital in Donbas, Ukraine on December 27, 2022

The Kherson region, at the mouth of the Dnipro, serves as a gateway to Russian-annexed Crimea.

Heavy fighting persisted around the Ukrainian-held city of Bakhmut, in the eastern province of Donetsk, and to its north, around the cities of Svatove and Kreminna in Luhansk, where Ukrainian forces are trying to break Russian defensive lines.

Britain’s defence ministry said Russia had likely reinforced the Kreminna section of the frontline as it is logistically important and relatively vulnerable following Ukrainian advances further west.

Kyiv-based military analyst Oleh Zhdanov noted that Kharkiv city and region had also come under heavy attacks which damaged a regional gas pipeline.

Kyiv and its Western allies have denounced Russia’s invasion of its neighbour as an imperialist-style land grab. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin calls it a ‘special military operation’ to demilitarise its neighbour.

Sweeping sanctions have been imposed on Russia for the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people, driven millions from their homes, left cities in ruins and shaken the global economy, driving up energy and food prices.

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