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'Hit the Kremlin': Kyivans don't hold back after Russia’s mass attack kills 9, wounds 30 in the capital

A damaged building is seen after the Russian missile attack on one of Kyiv's districts, Dec. 29, 2023. (Olena Zashko/The Kyiv Independent)
by Alexander Query and Olena Zashko and Irynka Hromotska December 30, 2023 12:49 AM 5 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Thick columns of smoke were rising in Kyiv after several sites were hit by Russia early on Dec. 29.

In Kyiv, Russia hit three locations, according to Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko. Local authorities reported nine people killed and 30 injured.

Russia unleashed a barrage of 158 attack drones and missiles across Ukraine, one of its biggest air attacks since the start of the full-scale invasion. The Air Force later released a report, which said Ukraine shot down 114 of the 158 drones and missiles fired by Russia.

Besides Kyiv, authorities reported casualties in Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Zaporizhzhia.

The mass attack killed at least 30 people across Ukraine and wounded over 160 others, according to an update by the Interior Ministry published at 7:30 p.m. local time.

Oleksandr Lytvyn, a 32-year-old driver, barely escaped the strike, he told the Kyiv Independent as he was standing a few meters away from a warehouse that was hit.

"I'm very lucky," he said. Not everyone was.

The Kyiv City Administration earlier reported that 10 people had been trapped under the rubble. Klymenko said eight people were rescued without specifying from which site.

Several apartment buildings, warehouses, an office center, a residential house, and a metro station were damaged in different neighborhoods, Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, reported.

Outside the capital, Russia damaged residential high-rise buildings, a shopping center, a school, and a maternity hospital, among a variety of other civilian sites.

Utility workers repair damaged entrence of Lukianivska metro station that was damaged by a Russian missile attack, Kyiv, Dec. 29, 2023. (Olena Zashko/The Kyiv Independent)

Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said on air that an attack of this scale "has not been seen for a long time," adding that Russia had sent every type of missile in its stock except for Kalibr cruise missiles.

According to him, Ukraine's air defense downed over 30 air targets over the capital. The General Staff said Russia tried to destroy critical infrastructure, industrial and military facilities.

Yevhen Chyzhevsky, a bulky 40-year-old employed at the warehouse, told the Kyiv Independent that he learned about it while going to work.

"I arrived, and everything was burning," Chyzhevsky said. "But my colleagues are alive, and that's what matters," Chyzhevsky said.

"Everything was okay, and then boom," he said, looking at the warehouse's burned skeleton. "And now it's all f***ed," he added.

"The butchers wished us a happy New Year."

The State Emergency Service is carrying out work to extinguish a fire at a warehouse on Dec. 29, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)

'It was so loud'

A ten-minute drive north from the warehouse, streets were filled with debris and shattered glass.

In Lukianivka district, sweepers and builders were already working to replace broken windows with wooden panels. A metro entrance and an office building nearby were substantially damaged for the third time since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Olena, a 40-year resident of the district, saw the missile hitting the sites.

"I was near the window, the missile flew right before my eyes," Olena, who declined to provide her last name, told the Kyiv Independent.

"We heard two missiles, one after the other, it was so loud." By miracle, her windows stayed intact, while the door was nearly blown off.

Olena didn't hold back on her feelings toward Russians. "M*********ers," she said.

"Honestly, I can't find the words to describe my opinion on Russians," Olena said. "We need to hit the Kremlin and Moscow, then, perhaps, the situation will somehow change."

Lina Vasylivna, a 66-year-old concierge living steps away from the attack who insisted on being referenced by her name and patronymics, was unfazed by the attack on Lukanivska. She just cut her hands trying to remove the broken glass from the streets.

"I live on the 14th floor. I don't go to the shelter anymore," she said.

Olena and other victims of Russia's attack on the capital were pointing to Moscow's bombardment of another Ukrainian city, which many say suffered the most on Dec. 29.

In Dnipro, where Russian strikes hit a shopping center and a maternity hospital, six people were killed, among them a child and a policeman. Another 28 were injured, the National Police said.

And while the number of dead and injured was lower than that of Kyiv, the dread and anger that followed an attack on a hospital was much higher.

"At the time of the missile attack on the maternity ward in Dnipro, there were 12 women in labor. Additionally, there were four newborns," Governor Serhii Lysak wrote on Telegram.

Nurses and patients took shelter as soon as the air raid sirens went off, Suspilne reported, and no casualties were reported among them.

The city is filled with smoke after Russia attacked the capital with missiles and drones on Dec. 29, 2023. (Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)
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