Ukraine’s military said 10 drones were shot down in an early morning attack on Friday, local media reported.
Residents of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, were told to go to air-raid shelters as sirens sounded in the city early Friday morning, a day after Russia carried out the largest air assault since the start of the war in February.
Shortly after 2 a.m. (0000 GMT), the Kyiv city government issued an alert on its Telegram messaging app calling on residents to come to the shelters.
Kyiv region governor Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram that a “drone attack” was underway.
A Reuters witness 20 km (12 miles) south of Kyiv heard several explosions and the sound of anti-aircraft fire.
Local media The Kyiv Independent reported that air raid alerts were sounding in Kyiv, Cherkasy and Kirovohrad regions due to possible Russian drone attacks.
The Eastern Command of the Ukrainian army later reported that anti-aircraft missiles shot down 10 drones over the Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Nine were “Shahed-type drones and one Marlyn drone,” according to the report.
⚡️The Ukrainian army shoots down 10 drones.
Ukraine’s Eastern Operational Command reported that its anti-aircraft missile units, along with ground forces air defense units, destroyed nine Shahed-type drones and one Marlyn drone in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
— Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) December 30, 2022
Waves of Russian airstrikes have hit the country’s energy infrastructure, leaving millions without power or heat in often freezing temperatures.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a video address late Thursday, said Ukrainian air commands in the center, south, east and west of the country repelled 54 Russian missiles and 11 drones on Thursday.
Zelenskyy acknowledged that most regions suffered from power outages. Areas where power loss was “particularly difficult” included Kyiv, as well as the cities of Odessa and Kherson in the south and surrounding regions, and the region around Lviv near the western border with Poland.
“But that’s nothing compared to what could have happened without our heroic anti-aircraft troops and air defense,” he said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Thursday’s barrage of Russian missiles “senseless barbarism” ahead of the New Year.
senseless barbarism. These are the only words that come to mind watching Russia launch another missile barrage on peaceful Ukrainian towns before the New Year. There can be no “neutrality” in the face of such mass war crimes. To pretend to be “neutral” is to take Russia’s side.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) December 29, 2022
Reuters footage on Thursday showed rescuers digging through the smoldering wreckage of homes in Kyiv destroyed by an explosion and missile smoke trailing into the sky. Officials had earlier said more than 120 missiles were fired in Thursday’s assault.
More than 18 residential buildings and 10 critical infrastructure facilities were destroyed in the latest attacks, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday called for additional arms deliveries to Ukraine.
“It may seem paradoxical, but military support for Ukraine is the fastest path to peace,” the NATO chief said in an interview.
Russian President Vladimir Putin must have been convinced he would not achieve his goal of taking control of Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.