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Ukraine war latest: Russia’s latest large-scale air attacks on Kyiv, Kharkiv kill 5, injure 130

by The Kyiv Independent news desk and Alexander Query January 2, 2024 11:57 PM 7 min read
Drone view of a damaged building in the center of Kyiv as State Emergency Service provides assistance to the victims and puts out the fire on Jan. 2, 2024, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Key developments on Jan. 2:

  • Russia launches mass missile strike against Kyiv, Kharkiv
  • Zaluzhnyi says Ukraine downed record number of Kinzhal missiles on Jan. 2
  • Zelensky: Russia has launched at least 500 missiles, drones at Ukraine over past 5 days
  • Baltic leaders call for more air defense systems for Ukraine
  • Russian missile reportedly hits Russian village amid latest mass attack on Ukraine
  • DTEK says power fully restored in Kyiv following Russian mass attack
  • Mediazona confirms identities of over 40,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

Russia unleashed a new large-scale air attack on Ukraine on Jan. 2, targeting Kyiv, the surrounding region, and Kharkiv with 99 missiles, preceded by a wave of 35 Shahed drones.

The attack killed five and injured 130 people as of 8 p.m., the State Emergency Service reported. Among the injured are children, according to previous reports.

Ukrainian critical infrastructure, and industrial, civilian, and military facilities came under attack. Several high-rise residential buildings in Kyiv and Kharkiv were severely damaged.

Ukraine’s Air Force reported that a total of 72 Russian missiles were shot down over Ukraine, including 59 Kh-101/555/55 cruise missiles, three Kalibr cruise missiles, and all of the 10 Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles launched.

Earlier in the day, the Air Force also reported that all of the 35 Shahed drones had been downed.

On Dec. 29, Russia launched the largest air attack against Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion, according to Commander in Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi. The attack killed 41 people and wounded at least 160 people countrywide, Ukrainian authorities reported.

UPDATED: Russia launches mass missile strikes against Kyiv, Kharkiv
Russia launched a large-scale missile attack against Ukraine in the early hours of Jan. 2, targeting Kyiv, Kyiv Oblast, and Kharkiv, local officials reported.

Zaluzhnyi says Ukraine downed record number of Kinzhal missiles on Jan. 2

On Jan. 2, Ukraine downed a record number of Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles that Russia, Zaluzhnyi reported.

The Air Force intercepted all 10 Kinzhal missiles Russia launched on Jan. 2, using the U.S.-designed Patriot air defense systems.

If the missiles hit their targets, the consequences would have been catastrophic, Zaluzhnyi wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Zaluzhnyi thanked Ukraine’s allies for providing the air defense systems but said that the country needs more systems.

"There is no reason to believe that the enemy will stop here. Therefore, we need more systems and munition for them," he wrote.

Russian forces launched at least 99 missiles of various types and 35 Shahed "kamikaze" drones against Ukraine on Jan. 2, costing Russia nearly $620 million, Forbes estimated.

Forbes calculated the cost based on the estimates that one Russian Kh-101 cruise missile costs $13 million, a Kalibr cruise missile costs $ 6.5 million, a Kinzhal ballistic missile costs $15 million, an Iskander costs $3 million, and one Shahed 136 drone costs $50,000, among others.

"Due to the fact that the precise distribution of missiles by type remains unknown, Forbes estimates their total cost at approximately $620 million," the media wrote.

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

Zelensky: Russia has launched at least 500 missiles, drones at Ukraine over past 5 days

Russia has attacked Ukraine with at least 500 missiles and drones in the past five days, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Jan. 2 during a phone call with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Zelensky and Sunak discussed how to bolster Ukraine's air defense hours after Russia launched another mass air attack against the country, killing five people and injuring 130, including children.

Zelensky and Sunak discussed the long-range striking capabilities of the Ukrainian military and other urgent needs in weapons and ammunition, Presidential Office wrote.

The phone call also reportedly focused on a bilateral agreement between Kyiv and London on security guarantees for Ukraine, the next meeting on Zelensky's peace formula in Davos, and the upcoming Global Peace Summit.

Air Force: Russia has targeted Ukraine with around 3,800 drones since 2022
Russia has launched around 3,800 kamikaze drones at Ukraine since September 2022, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said on national television on Dec. 31.

Baltic leaders call for more air defense systems for Ukraine

Earlier in the day, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics called for more air defense systems for Ukraine.

Nauseda wrote on X that "Ukrainians do wonders with the air defense the West has provided, but they need more."  "Air defense systems to Ukraine now!"

Rinkevics also wrote that "Ukrainian air defense works well, but Ukraine must get more help."

"New Year’s celebrations are over and the West must get serious and act now," Rinkevics posted on X.

"Another set of brutal Russian air strikes against Kyiv this morning, innocent civilians again being victims of the Russian terrorism," Rinkevics wrote.

UK announces new air defense aid package for Ukraine after Russia’s mass attack
The U.K. will send Ukraine “hundreds of air defense missiles” to restock air defense systems provided by London earlier, U.K. Defense Minister Grant Shapps announced on Dec. 29 after Russia launched a mass air attack against Ukraine.

Russian missile reportedly hits Russian village amid latest mass attack on Ukraine

Russian aircraft "made an emergency release of an aircraft ordnance" over the Russian village of Petropavlovka, Voronezh Oblast, at around 9 a.m. on Jan. 2, Russian state-controlled news site RIA Novosti reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

The incident occurred amid the latest Russian large-scale attack against Ukraine, targeting Kyiv, the surrounding region, and Kharkiv.

Russian Defense Ministry claimed there were no casualties, but six private buildings were damaged, according to RIA Novosti.

Videos and photos of the explosion's aftermath posted on local Telegram channels show a large crater and extensively damaged houses in the village. Petropavlovka is located about 100 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

On Telegram, Voronezh Oblast Governor Aleksandr Gusev also claimed that there were no casualties, "but damage has been recorded, preliminarily, in seven residential buildings."

"They may have inflicted damage to windows, roofs, and load-bearing structures. The information is being clarified. An operational group is working at the site," Gusev claimed.

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DTEK says power fully restored in Kyiv following Russian mass attack

Power has been fully restored in Kyiv as of 4:20 p.m., following Russia’s Jan. 2 large-scale attack, Ukrainian private energy company DTEK reported.

Earlier in the day, the Energy Ministry reported that in Kyiv, the Russian attack left almost 260,000 consumers without power.

"Energy workers restored power for Sviatoshynskyi, Shevchenkivskyi, Obolonskyi, and Podilskyi districts of Kyiv," DTEK wrote on Telegram.

Water supply was restored in all of Kyiv's districts, according to the Kyiv City Military Administration.

With winter approaching, is Ukraine’s energy system ready for renewed Russian attacks?
The specter of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy system looms once again as winter rapidly approaches. Last year in early October, just as Ukraine’s heating season began, Russia launched a month-long series of missile and drone attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leading to blackouts…

Mediazona confirms identities of over 40,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

Through open-source research, Mediazona, a Russian independent media outlet, together with BBC Russia, confirmed the names of 40,599 Russian soldiers who had been killed since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Since Mediazona's last update on Dec. 15, the names of 1,100 Russian soldiers have been added to the list of casualties.

The journalists specify that the actual figures are likely considerably higher since the information they have verified so far comes from public sources, including obituaries, posts by relatives, news in regional media, and reports by local authorities.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion began, almost 3,000 officers, with 341 holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or higher, have been killed in combat in Ukraine. In contrast, there have been nearly 4,915 casualties among newly recruited Russian soldiers.

Most of those killed in action come from Krasnodar, Sverdlovsk, Bashkiria, Chelyabinsk, and Moscow regions, as well as the Buryatia Republic.

Ukraine finally moves to fortify front line, but could it be too little too late?
“If you want to live, dig.” The words, often spoken by Ukrainian troops, are universal advice for trench warfare in general, but especially for both sides in Russia’s war against Ukraine. Normally expressed as advice to the individual soldier, the maxim now applies to the country as a whole.
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