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Ukraine's President Zelenskyy announced that the country is on track to increase its production of weapons by 2024.
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Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy announced that the country is on track to increase its production of weapons by 2024.

In his daily address on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine is making preparations to increase weapon production in 2024.

He stated that we are collaborating with our partners to find answers that are necessary for all Ukrainian soldiers, as well as our entire country and government.

Ukraine’s air force reported that they successfully took down 21 out of 49 Russian drones on the final day of the year.

On Saturday, Ukraine was also defending against a Russian drone strike in Kyiv.

On Saturday, Ukrainian authorities reported that two missiles from Russia struck central Kharkiv, causing injuries to at least 21 individuals. This attack is the most recent in a string of retaliatory air strikes.

Policemen stand outside the Kharkiv Palace hotel, which was damaged the night before by a Russian missile attack, in Kharkiv, on Dec. 31, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On December 31, 2023, amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, law enforcement officers were stationed outside the Kharkiv Palace hotel, which had been hit by a missile attack from Russia the previous night.

After Ukrainian airstrikes struck the Russian city of Belgorod on Saturday, Russia retaliated by attacking Kharkiv, a city in Ukraine bordering Belgorod.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov shared on Telegram that due to a night attack by Russian drones, various structures in the city center, such as cafes, residential buildings, and offices, have been harmed. Despite this aggression, we refuse to be intimidated by these actions as we approach the New Year.

According to the governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, the Defense Ministry of Russia reported that a minimum of 21 individuals, including three minors, lost their lives and at least 110 were wounded in the Ukrainian attacks on Saturday.

On Saturday, Russia asked for a meeting to be held by the United Nations Security Council regarding what it perceives as Ukraine’s untargeted strikes on Belgorod. Russia also accused Ukraine of using cluster bombs, but did not offer any further details. The Associated Press was unable to confirm these allegations.

The Russian Defense Ministry declared on social media that this offense will not be left unpunished.

Security Council meets

The Security Council of the United Nations gathered on Friday upon the appeal of Ukraine and thirty-six other member countries. The members of the Security Council denounced the heavy attacks by Russia.

Since May, there have been frequent drone strikes on cities in western Russia. While Russian officials attribute these attacks to Ukraine, officials in Kyiv rarely take credit for them.

Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, stated that the United Nations Security Council will be addressing the terrorist attack in Belgorod. As reported by the state-run RIA news agency, Russia has requested a meeting of the Security Council.

At this time, there is no official statement from Kyiv. However, a Ukrainian news source, RBC-Ukraine, reported that unnamed sources claimed Ukrainian forces struck military targets in Belgorod as a response to the significant Russian attack on Ukrainian cities on Friday.

Over the weekend, it was reported by Russian officials that they had successfully taken down 32 Ukrainian drones. In the city of Moscow, air defense systems managed to shoot down drones flying over Moscow, Bryansk, Oryol, and Kursk areas. The Ministry of Defense released a statement stating that there were casualties, including a child.

Last Friday, Russia initiated its largest air attack since February 2022, which was when they invaded Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities reported that at least 41 civilians were killed, 160 were wounded, and an unknown number of people remain trapped under debris throughout Ukraine. This attack included a total of 158 missile and drone strikes.

Russia carried out missile and drone attacks on Saturday, with missiles striking areas in Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Chernihiv, resulting in the deaths of three individuals. Ukraine also claimed to have shot down Iranian-made Shahed drones in the Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, and Mykolaiv regions.

Following the extensive attack on Friday, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared that Ukraine is currently “struggling for survival.”

Zelenskyy stated that for each attack, there will be a retaliation against Russian terrorists. He also emphasized that playing games with people will not benefit in the fight against terrorism.

The daily intelligence update from the British Defense Ministry on Ukraine revealed that the number of Russian casualties, both dead and wounded, has increased by nearly 300% per day compared to last year. This information was provided to the ministry by Ukraine.

According to the British government, the rise can be credited to Russia’s military weakening and shift towards a larger but lower quality army since September 2022 when they partially mobilized reservists.

According to the report, it is estimated that it will take Russia a period of five to 10 years to reconstruct their highly skilled military forces.

According to the British government, if the rate of casualties persists, Russia will have over 500,000 military personnel killed or injured by 2025, following three years of war.

According to the British ministry, the Soviet Union had 70,000 casualties during the nine-year Soviet Afghan War, in contrast.

The leading Russian diplomat in Poland has stated that Moscow will not offer any clarifications regarding a mystery object that briefly crossed into Polish airspace unless there is concrete evidence that it was a missile from Russia.

An unknown object traveled 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) into the country’s airspace from the direction of Ukraine before leaving minutes later and vanishing off radars, Poland’s defense forces said Friday. The head of the Polish armed forces, General Wiesław Kukuła, said “everything indicates” it was a Russian missile.

The Foreign Ministry of Poland summoned Andrei Ordash, the charge d’affaires of Russia in Warsaw, and requested an explanation. Russia dismissed Poland’s accusations as lacking evidence.

Oardash stated to RIA Novosti that they will not provide any justifications until they are given solid proof, as the allegations are unsupported.

The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters provided some content for this report.

In this photo taken from video released by the Russia Emergency Situations Ministry's Telegram channel on Dec. 30, 2023, firefighters extinguish burning cars after shelling in Belgorod, Russia.

On December 30, 2023, a video released by the Russia Emergency Situations Ministry’s Telegram channel shows firefighters putting out flames from cars that were set on fire during a shelling incident in Belgorod, Russia.