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Russia launches largest air attack on Ukraine since start of full-scale war

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 29, 2023 9:33 AM 3 min read
Some of the aftermath of the largest Russian air attack on Ukraine since the start of the full-scale war on Dec. 29, 2023. (Interior Ministry/Telegram)
This audio is created with AI assistance

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This is a developing story, and it is being updated.

Russia launched its largest air attack on Ukraine since the start of the full-scale war on Dec. 29, according to the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Local authorities have reported civilian casualties in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Odesa after Russia unleashed a barrage of 158 attack drones and missiles overnight, targeting regions across Ukraine on Dec. 29.

Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said on air that an attack of this scale "has not been seen for a long time."

According to the latest update by Ukraine's Interior Ministry published at 7:30 p.m. local time, the morning wave of Russian strikes killed at least 30 people and wounded over 160 others across the country.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram that Russia had used around 110 missiles to attack Ukraine, and most of them had been shot down. The Air Force later released a report, which said Ukraine shot down 114 of the 158 drones and missiles fired by Russia on Dec. 29.

As of 6:50 p.m., nine people were killed and 30 others were injured in Kyiv as a result of the morning wave of drone and missile attacks, according to the Kyiv City Military Administration.

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.

According to him, Ukraine’s air defense downed over 30 air targets in the capital.

Graph by Nizar Al-Rifai

In a warehouse in Podilskyi district, a fire spread to cover 3,000 square meters of the premises. There were "many wounded," and emergency responders continue to search for the victims, the Kyiv City Military Administration reported.  

One person was killed, and 30 people were injured in Lviv Oblast in western Ukraine, where residential buildings and educational institutions were damaged, according to the latest update by the regional department of Ukraine's State Emergency Service.

In Dnipro, six civilians are confirmed to have been killed and at least 30 were injured as of around 4:30 p.m., Governor Serhii Lysak reported. A shopping center and a maternity hospital were hit in the attack.

According to Lysak, as soon as the air raid alert went off, the hospital's staff with all patients took shelter, which prevented casualties in this strike.

The attack on Dnipro also destroyed or damaged a house, eight administrative buildings, at least two dozen high-rise buildings, and cars, Lysak added.

The National Police later reported that a child and a policeman were among the dead.

Kharkiv was hit by 20 strikes, killing three people and injuring at least 13, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

The attack struck medical facilities, civilian enterprises and a transport facility in Kharkiv, Syniehubov added.

Russia targeted two residential buildings in Odesa, killing four people as known as of around 3 p.m, Governor Oleh Kiper said, while over 20 were injured, among them two young children.

Eight people are known to have been killed in Zaporizhzhia as of 5:30 p.m., the regional governor Yurii Malashko reported. Two hours before this statement, he said 13 were injured.

According to Malashko, high-rise buildings in the city were damaged by blast waves and debris, while one rocket destroyed a home.

Explosions heard in cities across Ukraine amid wave of Russian strikes
Explosions were heard in Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv, and Khmelnytskyi in the early morning of Dec. 29, according to local reports.
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