- Russia launched more than 20 cruise missiles, killing one person
- President Zelensky says the Russians are allied with the devil
- Attack called “New Year’s Eve terror” in Kyiv
- The Energy Minister says the attacks did not cause serious damage
Kyiv (Reuters) – Russia fired more than 20 cruise missiles at targets in Ukraine on Saturday, killing at least one person in Kyiv, in attacks President Volodymyr Zelensky said showed Moscow was in league with the devil.
The second wave of major Russian missile attacks in three days severely damaged the Kyiv Hotel and an apartment building. German Energy Minister Galushenko said on Facebook that the strikes did not cause serious damage to the national electricity system.
Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s critical infrastructure since October with a barrage of missiles and drones, causing power outages as cold weather approaches.
Zelensky noted in a video address that Russia also launched attacks on Easter and Christmas.
“They call themselves Christians… but they are with Satan. They are for him and with him,” he said.
At least 12 people were injured in the attacks. The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said a Japanese journalist was among the wounded and was taken to hospital.
DTEK, the country’s largest private energy company, later said it had canceled emergency power outages in Kyiv and the surrounding area.
Zelensky said in remarks addressed to Russian speakers that President Vladimir Putin is destroying Russia’s future.
“No one will forgive you for terrorism. No one in the world will forgive you. Ukraine will not forgive,” he said, repeating calls for allies to supply more anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems.
Army chief Valeriy Zaluzhny said air defenses shot down 12 cruise missiles, including six around the Kyiv region, five in the Zhitomirsky region and one in the Khmelnytskyi region.
He said in a Telegram that the cruise missiles were launched from strategic bombers over the Caspian Sea hundreds of miles away and from ground launch pads.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter after the attack: “The mass Russian missile attack deliberately targets residential areas, not even our energy infrastructure.”
“The war criminal Putin celebrates the New Year by killing people,” Kuleba said, calling for Russia to be deprived of its permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Dmytro Lubinets, Ombudsman for Human Rights of Ukraine, described the attack as “New Year’s Eve terror”.
Other cities across Ukraine were also bombed. In the southern Mykolaiv region, local governor Vitaly Kem said on television that six people were injured.
In a separate post on Telegram, Kim said Russia had targeted civilians with strikes, something Moscow had previously denied.
“In accordance with the trends of the day, the occupiers are not only striking (infrastructure) … In many cities (they are targeting) simply residential areas, hotels, garages and roads.”
Ukrainian presidential aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko said two people were wounded in the drone attack in the western city of Khmelnytskyi. He also reported a strike in the southern industrial city of Zaporizhia, which Tymoshenko said damaged residential buildings.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense responded on Telegram by saying: “With each new missile attack on civilian infrastructure, more and more Ukrainians are convinced of the need to fight until the complete collapse of the Putin regime.”
A 7pm-midnight curfew has remained in effect across Ukraine, making celebrations of the beginning of 2023 impossible in public.
Several district governors posted messages on social media warning residents not to break the restrictions on New Year’s Eve.
(This story has been reworded to fix a typo in the title)
Additional reporting by Pavel Politiuk and David Leungren. Written by Max Hunder and Tom Palmforth; Editing by Hugh Lawson, David Holmes and Mark Porter
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