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

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 2, 2024 8:59 PM 1 min read
Fire and burnt-out cars are seen after a Russian missile strike on Kyiv on Jan. 2, 2024, amid Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
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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.

Russia launched at least 99 missiles on the morning of Jan. 2, targeting Kyiv, the surrounding region, and Kharkiv. According to the Air Force, Ukraine's air defenses shot down 72 Russian missiles, along with all of the 35 Shahed drones launched earlier in the night.

During the mass attack, Ukraine downed a record number of Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles, as reported by Ukraine's Commander in Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Zelelnsky and Sunak discussed the long-range striking capabilities of the Ukrainian military and other urgent needs in weapons and ammunition, Ukraine's 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.

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

On Dec. 29, Russia launched the largest air attack against Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion, according to Zaluzhnyi. The attack killed over 40 people and wounded at least 160 people countrywide, Ukrainian authorities reported.

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