The Russian criminal campaign is continuing with massive air strikes against energy, infrastructure
As we prepared to welcome in this New Year in Ukraine, Russia launched one of its biggest missile assaults of the battle against energy infrastructure. Shortly after dawn the sound of blasts were heard in cities and towns across the country as 69 cruise missiles and armed drones attacked civilian targets. It was Kyiv called one of the heaviest days of air strikes since the Kremlin started a campaign against Ukraine’s electric, water and heating supply systems, that as temperatures began dropping with the beginning of winter, they have targeted the power grid. Thursday’s strikes were the 10th major attack on Ukraine’s power grid since September.
Russian Presidency Vladimir Putin has employed the strategy to disarm the desire for resistance among Ukraine’s civilians, by throwing non-combatants in darkness and cold with sub-zero temperatures, as the battle enters its 10th month. According to Kyiv military, air defense units of the Ukrainian military have knocked down 54 of the 69 cruise missiles launched from Russian forces. The latest round of strikes left 90% in the capital city Lviv in western Ukraine not having electricity as per local officials and water supplies were also significantly impaired. In Kyiv there was a 40% reduction in homes were without power, according to the mayor of Kyiv’s capital city, Vitali Klitschko, said.
A Ukrainian anti-aircraft ballistic missile landed on Belarusian border, according to BelTA the state news agency. It added that the report did not mention any injuries. In the meantime, the Belarusian Defense Ministry is investigating whether the missile was destroyed by its own system of air defense or whether it was unable to hit its target.
The dawn was breaking over Kiev and Kiev, the hum of missiles and gray trails were seen across the sky. Air raid sirens had earlier warned that Kiev along with the rest of the country in general, was on the alert for attacks by missiles. The attacks on Thursday saw 16 of the projectiles fired from Moscow specifically targeted the Ukrainian capital, all were defeated by anti-aircraft missiles according to the Kyiv authorities. But, fragments of shells struck two houses, a child’s play area and a manufacturing plant, hurting three persons, which included a teenager in the city’s Mayor’s office.
Russian strikes also damaged the infrastructure in the port city of Odesa as well as the cities in northern Russia of Zhytomyr as well as Kharkiv. Several buildings, even a power line and gas pipeline was damaged during bombardment on the outskirts the city in the south-central region of Zaporizhzhia According to the governor of the region, Oleksandr Staruj. In Kherson, which was freed in November by Ukrainian forces in November and is the site of heavy shelling in these past days, an attack on a medical facility, according to local officials, injuring two individuals. “They believe that Ukrainians are going to celebrate this New Year in darkness and frigid temperatures. But they cannot defeat the Ukrainian populace,” Kyiv’s Defense Ministry announced on social networks.
A power plant in Kyiv burned after an attack by drones on December 19th, 2022. A power plant located in Kyiv burns after a drone attack on December 19th, 2022.
SERGEI SUPINSKY (AFP)
The most recent round of air strike was conducted by at most 13 strategic bombers carrying cruise missiles, as per the Ukrainian Air Force. Shortly before the missiles began to fall, Moscow sent waves of Iranian-made Shahed drones that are suicide, and were deployed by Russian forces in an attempt to distract Ukrainian air defense groups prior to missile strikes that follow. A squadron of 13 drones were directed at Kharkiv which saw 11 of them shot down, according the local authorities. In Dnipro, a strategic city situated in the central region of the country that is also a logistics and communications hub, five drones were downed just before missiles were launched. The Ukrainian Army’s Southern Command reports that three Russian ships carrying missiles have taken up combat positions in the Black Sea.
Ukrainian Presidency Volodymyr Zelenskiy had warned several days earlier that Russia is planning massive strikes during the Christmas vacation. “With the approaching holiday season, Russian terrorists may become active again,” he stated. “They despise Christian values and any values in general.”
The strikes on Thursday came just days after the drone strike on a Russian strategically-positioned bomber base which is from where Moscow has launched raids against crucial Ukrainian infrastructure. At least three Russian military personnel were injured during an attack that revealed cracks in Moscow’s anti-aircraft defences. This was the second drone raid executed within the Engels airbase that is located in the Saratov region. It is located many miles away from the Ukrainian border. Similar to what it did after prior attacks on bases within Russian territories and on Russian territory, the Ukrainian government used an obscure language and did not attribute these strikes to the country’s own army while declaring that they were directly related to the war waged by the Kremlin.