Russia Launches Massive Aerial Attack, Largest of War So Far

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In February, it will be two years since the commencement of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Despite months of ongoing hostilities resulting in significant casualties, both parties show no signs of relenting. In a recent assault, Russia was responsible for the tragic loss of nearly twenty individuals.

Towards the conclusion of 2023, Russia initiated an extensive offensive against Ukraine. As per accounts, the attack unfolded from the night of December 28 through December 29. The Russian armed forces unleashed a continuous barrage of missiles on Ukraine, spanning approximately 18 hours.

Ukrainian authorities conveyed that the attack comprised a minimum of 36 unmanned aerial vehicles and 122 missiles. The invading forces targeted six cities, including the capital, Kyiv. Military Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi informed the media that Ukraine successfully intercepted 87 missiles and thwarted 27 drones. Nevertheless, the assault resulted in the unfortunate loss of at least 29 Ukrainian lives, with nearly 90 individuals sustaining injuries.

Ukraine’s Air Force commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, declared that the latest assault represents the most significant aerial attack since Russia’s invasion nearly two years ago. The last similar incident occurred in November 2022 when Russian forces unleashed a total of 96 missiles in a single barrage.

The Russian missiles not only targeted military sites but also impacted civilian areas, a recurring pattern in this conflict. Schools, a maternity hospital, and residential buildings all suffered damage in these attacks.

Following the extensive assault, Russia carried out additional missile strikes on Ukraine. On the early morning of Tuesday, January 2, loud explosions resonated in Kyiv. According to The Washington Post, Mayor Vitali Klitschko stated that 49 individuals sustained injuries, and a woman lost her life in a high-rise building fire triggered by the missile attack. Additionally, he mentioned that certain areas in the capital experienced disruptions in water and electricity supply.

General Zaluzhnyi briefed the media, stating that Ukraine successfully intercepted approximately 75% of the missiles launched on Tuesday, thanks to the Patriot defense system. This encompassed the entire arsenal of 10 hypersonic missiles that Russia purportedly directed towards them. Yuriy Inhat, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Air Force, remarked that Russia deployed significant resources during the attack.

Subsequent to the missile attacks on Tuesday, Ukraine launched counter-strikes into Belgorod, Russia, resulting in the death of at least one individual. This retaliation followed a similar incident on Saturday when Kyiv authorized missile strikes on Belgorod, leading to the loss of at least 24 lives, with an additional five casualties on New Year’s Day.

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