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Western leaders condemn Russia's mass attack on Ukraine, Zelensky urges world to respond

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 29, 2023 11:15 PM 2 min read
Kyiv center is filled with smoke after Russian rocket attacks on the capital of Ukraine on Dec. 29, 2023 Russia launched mass missile attacks targeting major Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Odesa, and Kharkiv on Dec. 29, killing 30 people. (Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)
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Western leaders condemned Russia's Dec. 29 mass attack on Ukraine that killed at least 30 people and wounded over 160 as President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the world to react to Russia's "latest act of terror."

Russia unleashed a barrage of 158 attack drones and missiles on Ukraine overnight and in the early morning in what the Ukrainian military called the largest air attack on the country since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Casualties and large-scale damage to civilian and military sites were reported in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Zaporizhzhia. The targets included a maternity hospital, a shopping mall, a metro station, and residential buildings, among other places.

"Many leaders today have already declared their support for Ukraine and Ukrainians, and I am grateful to each one. Especially to those who have assisted our country with air defense," Zelensky said in his evening video address.

U.S. President Joe Biden issued an official statement later the same day condemning the attack and calling on Congress to approve further defense aid to Ukraine, which has been delayed for months by recent political turmoil in the U.S.

"It (the attack) is a stark reminder to the world that, after nearly two years of this devastating war, Putin's objective remains unchanged. He seeks to obliterate Ukraine and subjugate its people. He must be stopped," Biden said in the statement.

Russia launches largest air attack on Ukraine since start of full-scale war
Local authorities have reported civilian casualties in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Odesa after Russia unleashed a barrage of attack drones and missiles overnight, targeting regions across Ukraine on Dec. 29.

"Unless Congress takes urgent action in the new year, we will not be able to continue sending the weapons and vital air defense systems Ukraine needs to protect its people. Congress must step up and act without any further delay."

The European Union's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, pledged that the bloc would remain committed "in 2024 to provide additional military equipment to support Ukraine in resisting Russia's invasion."

"Ukraine's fight for freedom against tyranny is a shared fight," Borrell said on X.

Germany's Foreign Ministry expressed its support for Ukrainians following the attack, saying that "even in 2024, we won't move an inch away from the Ukrainian side."

Moldovan President Maia Sandu said she's "deeply disturbed" by the Russian air attack, adding it "underscores the urgent need to bolster Ukraine's air defense capabilities to protect lives."

British Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Harris, Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics, and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink also condemned the Russian mass strike, urging the international community to increase support for Kyiv's fight against Russian aggression.

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