On Sunday, Kharkiv, a city in Ukraine, was struck by Russian airstrikes, causing injury to at least 28 individuals and causing damage to homes, hotels, a kindergarten, and administrative buildings.
According to the governor of the Kirovohrad region in central Ukraine, there was another attack by Russian forces on Sunday which resulted in damage to power lines and a non-residential building.
“The region of Kirovohrad is once again being targeted by the enemy’s attacks,” stated Andriy Raikovych in a message on the Telegram app. He also mentioned that their air defenses had been activated.
On the final day of the year, the Ukrainian air force reported shooting down 21 out of 49 drones belonging to Russia.
According to a statement, Russia has declared that it attacked the former Kharkiv Palace Hotel and the headquarters of the Ukrainian Security Service for the Kharkiv region as a response to Ukraine’s airstrikes on the Russian city of Belgorod on Saturday.
Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov of Belgorod region announced via Telegram that the death toll in the area has increased to 24, with 108 individuals injured and numerous apartment buildings damaged.
On Saturday, Russia asked for a meeting with the United Nations Security Council to discuss what they described as Ukraine’s untargeted assaults on Belgorod. They also claimed that Ukraine had utilized cluster bombs, but did not offer any further details. The Associated Press was unable to confirm these allegations.
Khaled Khiari, the assistant secretary-general in the U.N. Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, strongly denounces all acts of aggression against cities, towns, and villages in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
On Saturday, he stated that any harm to civilians or civilian structures goes against international laws and is not tolerated. The attacks must stop immediately.
On Friday, the Security Council held a meeting as requested by Ukraine and 36 other member states of the United Nations. The members of the Council expressed their condemnation for Russia’s attack on civilians and infrastructure in Kharkiv.
Russia carried out its largest aerial attack since February 2022, when it invaded Ukraine. According to Ukrainian authorities, the attack resulted in the deaths of at least 41 civilians, injured over 160 people, and left an unknown number of victims buried under debris across Ukraine. The assault consisted of 158 missile and drone strikes.
Following the intense attack by Russia on Ukraine on Friday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared that Ukraine is currently in a battle for its survival.
In his New Year speech, Putin stated:
In his pre-recorded New Year’s speech to the citizens, Russian President Vladimir Putin lauded Russia’s “unified society” and emphasized the country’s unwavering determination in its conflict with Ukraine.
According to state news agency RIA Novosti, Putin’s video address was only four minutes long, which is much shorter than his New Year’s speech from last year.
The initial viewers were inhabitants of the Kamchatka Peninsula and Chukotka region in the Far East of Russia, approximately nine hours ahead of Moscow.
The president praised the solidarity, compassion, and strength of Russian citizens, emphasizing that what brings and continues to bring them together is a shared concern for the fate of their country and a profound recognition of the great importance of the current historical period in Russia.
He praised the Russian military’s participation in the “special military operation” in Ukraine, as dubbed by the Kremlin.
Putin expressed his pride in the heroes and assured them of the support from the entire nation.
During his video statement on Sunday, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy announced that he honored approximately 700 soldiers and medical personnel for their contributions to their nation.
He expressed gratitude to all those who continuously work towards Ukraine’s defense.
I am grateful to those who utilize the start of the new year to conduct a fundraiser for those on the front lines. I also extend my thanks to those who are currently or will be working tirelessly at our defense enterprises every day of the week. Additionally, I appreciate those who will be maintaining communication with Ukraine’s allies on January 1st, without delay, in order to ensure that our country is equipped with the necessary resources to combat the threat of Russia in the upcoming year.
On Saturday, President Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine is planning to increase its weapon production for the upcoming year.
Russian casualties in Ukraine
The British Ministry of Defense reported in their regular intelligence update on Ukraine that the daily number of Russian casualties, including both deaths and injuries, has increased by nearly 300% compared to 2022. This information was provided to the British ministry by Ukraine.
According to the British government, the rise in numbers can be traced back to Russia’s weakening military and their shift towards a larger, lower quality army due to the activation of reservists in September 2022.
According to the report, it will most likely require Russia approximately five to 10 years to reconstruct its extensively skilled military units.
According to the British government, if the current rate of casualties persists, Russia will suffer over 500,000 fatalities and injuries by 2025, following three years of conflict.
According to the ministry, the Soviet Union had 70,000 people killed or injured during the nine-year Soviet Afghan War, in contrast to the United States’ losses.
The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters provided some of the content used in this report.