Kyiv says 12 dead as Russia launches massive missile attack on Ukraine

Published December 29, 2023
Firefighters work at a site of a warehouse heavily damaged duringa Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine December 29. — Reuters
Firefighters work at a site of a warehouse heavily damaged duringa Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine December 29. — Reuters

Russia on Friday unleashed one of its biggest missile attacks on Ukraine of the war so far, killing 12 civilians, wounding dozens more and hitting residential buildings in Kyiv, the south and west of the country, officials said.

Ten people in Kyiv were trapped under rubble at a warehouse damaged by falling debris, the city’s military administration said. A maternity ward was damaged in the city of Dnipro, but no casualties were reported, the governor said.

“Today, millions of Ukrainians awoke to the loud sound of explosions. I wish those sounds of explosions in Ukraine could be heard all around the world,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, calling for Kyiv’s allies to step up their support.

The vast end-of-year aerial assault comes as uncertainty is swirling over the scale and staying power of future Western military and financial support for Kyiv nearly two years into the war with Russia.

“Russia attacked with everything it has in its arsenal […] Approximately 110 missiles were fired, most of which were shot down,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Telegram messenger.

Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk suggested the strike was Russia’s largest aerial barrage since the February 2022 invasion, describing it on Telegram messenger as “the most massive attack from the air”.

Army chief General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said the attack targeted critical infrastructure and industrial and military facilities. There was no immediate comment from Russia.

The energy ministry reported power outages in the regions of southern Odesa, northeastern Kharkiv, central Dnipropetrovsk and central Kyiv.

Ukraine has been warning for weeks that Russia could be stockpiling missiles to launch a major air attack on the energy system. Last year millions of people were plunged into darkness when Russian strikes pounded the power grid.

Five people were killed in the central region of Dnipropetrovsk where missiles hit a shopping centre, a privately-held home and a six-storey residential building.

One person was confirmed dead at a warehouse in Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said, revising down an earlier toll of two. Residential buildings and an uninhabited building were also hit, a senior military official said.

Three people were killed in the Black Sea port city of Odesa and at least 15 were wounded, including two children, as missiles hit residential buildings, the regional governor said.

In the Lviv region, which borders Nato member Poland, missile impacts were confirmed at an unnamed critical infrastructure facility, the president’s office said.

One person was killed in a damaged multi-storey residential building in the city of Lviv, the regional governor said. Three schools and a kindergarten were also damaged, the mayor said.

In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, a missile strike damaged a warehouse, an industrial facility, a medical facility and a transport depot, the regional governor said. One person was killed and 11 others were injured, he said.

Missiles hit several infrastructure facilities in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia and one person was killed, the interior minister said.

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