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The number of casualties increases as a result of the largest Russian attacks on Ukraine to date.
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The number of casualties increases as a result of the largest Russian attacks on Ukraine to date.

On January 1st, Ukraine mourned the victims of Russia’s extensive missile attacks on Friday.

According to city officials, an additional five casualties have been discovered in Kyiv amidst the debris following extensive air attacks by Russia three days ago. This brings the total number of fatalities in the Ukrainian capital from the assault to 28.

“Deep sympathies to all who have lost family and dear ones…those who commit acts of terror against innocent civilians will never be absolved for the bloodshed on Ukrainian land,” stated Serhiy Popko, the military governor of Kyiv, on Telegram.

On Monday, Russia and Ukraine accused each other of carrying out fatal attacks.

According to Denis Pushilin, the Russia-appointed leader of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, an attack in Donetsk resulted in the deaths of four individuals and injuries to 13 others.

According to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, the bombardment of Donetsk was labeled a “terrorist act” and was allegedly targeted towards civilian infrastructure.

In the meantime, the city of Kyiv reported that Russia had launched an unprecedented amount of drones on New Year’s Day.

In Odesa, Ukraine, Governor Oleh Kiper reported that a failed drone attack from Russia resulted in debris falling on residential buildings, resulting in the death of one individual and injuries to three others.

According to officials in Lviv, western Ukraine, the country’s air defense successfully intercepted and destroyed multiple drones in the region.

On Monday, Ukraine’s air force reported that Russia deployed a total of 90 drones in multiple attacks, but 87 of them were successfully shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service, firefighters work on the scene of a burning building after a Russian drone attack in Dublyany, Lviv region, Ukraine, Jan. 1, 2024. (Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

The Ukrainian Emergency Service shared a photo of firefighters responding to a burning building following a drone attack by Russia in Dublyany, Lviv region, Ukraine on January 1, 2024.

Intensified Russian strikes

On Monday, President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia will increase its attacks on military sites in Ukraine, in response to the recent attack on the Russian city of Belgorod on Saturday. The attack resulted in 24 fatalities and over 100 injuries, and followed Russia’s previous large-scale attacks throughout Ukraine.

While visiting a military hospital on Monday, Putin referred to Ukraine’s strike in Belgorod as a “terrorist act.” He accused Ukrainian forces of deliberately targeting the city center where civilians were present, just before New Year’s Eve. Putin also alleged that the attack was aimed at harming innocent civilians.

According to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency, he stated that Russia will persist in targeting what he referred to as “military installations.” He also expressed his belief that the Russian side currently holds the “strategic advantage” in the prolonged conflict in Ukraine. While he acknowledged that Moscow desires an end to the nearly two-year war, he emphasized that it must be on their own terms.

The president of Russia restated his belief that Ukraine is being utilized by the Western countries to resolve their conflicts with Russia.

Zelenskyy address

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s New Year’s speech, by 2024, Russia will face the consequences of Ukraine’s domestic production, which includes at least one million drones.

He hinted at the recent attack by Ukraine on a Russian ship in Crimea, stating that the actions taken in the Black Sea have been a negative point in the history of Russia’s fleet.

“Irrespective of the enemy’s barrage of missiles, shellings, and brutal attacks aimed at breaking and intimidating Ukrainians, and bringing down Ukraine, we will continue to stand strong,” stated Zelenskyy. “For those who bring destruction to our land, one day they will witness it from their own window.”

According to Zelenskyy, although Ukraine cannot predict the future, they will remain resilient and overcome any challenges that may arise in the new year.

The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters provided some of the material used in this report.