Day 310 of the Invasion of Ukraine: New Russian Attacks with Drones and MissilesUkraine | December 30, 2022, Friday // 11:27| views
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
New Russian strikes on Kyiv
Early this morning, residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were urged to head to air-raid shelters, a day after Russia launched its biggest airstrike campaign since the war began in February.
In his evening video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 54 missiles and 11 attack drones were shot down yesterday.
Shortly after 2 a.m. this morning, the Kyiv city government issued a Telegram warning and urged residents to move to shelters. Air raid sirens sounded in the city.
Oleksiy Kuleba, governor of the Kyiv region, announced on the social network that a "drone attack" was underway, later clarifying that no infrastructure objects had been hit. He noted that the night attack was carried out with kamikaze drones.
"Russia tried to hit our infrastructure facilities again. The air defense forces repelled the drones. According to preliminary data, there were no hits," Kuleba said.
“It is possible that the Russian occupiers will again resort to massive shelling in the coming days to force Ukrainians to face 2023 in darkness.” This is what President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his traditional late address. At the same time, he praised the Air Force and Air Defense for their work.
"Tonight there are power outages in most regions of Ukraine. It is especially severe in Kyiv region and the capital, in Lviv region, in Odesa city and Odesa region, in Kherson city and Kherson region, in Vinnytsia region and in Transcarpathia. But it is incomparable to this, which could have happened if it weren't for our heroic anti-aircraft guns and our anti-missile defenses. With each such missile strike, Russia only sinks deeper into the impasse. They have fewer and fewer missiles left."
The situation on the front in Bakhmut, Soledar and the entire line in the Donetsk region remains the most difficult, the Ukrainian president noted. According to him, the Russians have not given up the "crazy" idea of conquering the Donetsk region before the New Year.
An adviser to the Ukrainian president has said that around 15,000 soldiers and civilians are missing after Russian forces invaded Ukraine at the end of February.
Alyona Verbitzka pointed out that Russia has now confirmed that it has captured nearly 3,400 people. Nothing is known about the fate of the remaining people, said Verbytska, whose job it is to monitor the observance of the rights of Ukrainian soldiers, and stressed that this uncertainty is especially painful for the relatives of these people.
Russia launched 16 drones, Ukraine shot them all down
The Ukrainian Air Force said that Russia launched 16 kamikaze drones last night and Ukraine's air defenses destroyed every one of them, Reuters reported, citing BTA.
Kyiv's air force added that the drones were sent from the southeast and the north.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said on Telegram that seven of the drones were aimed at the capital, adding that five of them were destroyed over the city and the other two before reaching Kyiv.
An administrative building in the city was partially destroyed, informed Sergiy Popko, head of the Kyiv military administration. According to him, there are no reports of casualties so far.
Since mid-October, Russia has carried out a series of drone and missile strikes, severely damaging Ukraine's energy infrastructure. This necessitated planned and emergency power outages.
The Ministry of Defense of Belarus considers as one of the versions for yesterday's missile incident in the country a provocation by the Ukrainian armed forces, announced today Colonel Kiril Kazantsev, head of the Belarusian anti-aircraft missile forces, TASS quoted.
“There are still questions about this incident and we are considering two versions: an accidental launch of an anti-aircraft guided missile due to insufficient preparation of calculations or a deliberate provocation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, he said in a video released by the press service of the Belarusian Defense Ministry.
The Ministry of Defense in Minsk announced yesterday that the Belarusian air defense shot down a Ukrainian S-300 missile in the morning during one of the largest Russian missile attacks against Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
A commander of one of the missile divisions of the Belarusian Air Defense announced that the Ukrainian missile from the S-300 complex was destroyed after it entered the airspace of Belarus. The Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) reported that debris from the rocket fell near the village of Gorbakha in Ivanovo district, Brest region, 66 meters from a residential building.
The Belarusian authorities summoned the Ukrainian ambassador. "This is a very serious incident and Belarus takes this issue as seriously as possible," said a spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. "We insisted that Ukraine carry out a full investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the launch of the missile, bring those responsible to justice and take comprehensive measures to prevent similar incidents in the future, which could lead to catastrophic consequences for everyone," he added.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense offered to cooperate in the investigation of the case and said that the version of provocation by Russia should not be ruled out. Russia may have chosen such a trajectory for its cruise missiles that would lead to their downing in Belarus, the Ukrainian ministry explained.
Belarus recalled Kyiv's ambassador over Ukrainian missile incident
Belarusian authorities summoned the Ukrainian ambassador after reporting that a Ukrainian air defense missile had been shot down over their territory. This was announced on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Minsk, quoted by Reuters and BTA.
"This is a very serious incident and Belarus takes this issue as seriously as possible," said a spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. "We demanded that Ukraine carry out a full investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the launch of the missile, bring those responsible to justice and take comprehensive measures to prevent similar incidents in the future, which could lead to catastrophic consequences for everyone."
Earlier yesterday, the Ministry of Defense in Minsk announced that Belarusian air defenses shot down a Ukrainian S-300 missile in the morning during one of the largest Russian missile attacks against Ukraine since the beginning of the war, Reuters notes.
A commander of one of the missile divisions of the Belarusian Air Defense announced that the Ukrainian missile from the S-300 complex was destroyed by the Belarusian Air Defense after it entered the airspace of Belarus, TASS reported.
The Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) reported that debris from the rocket fell near the village of Gorbakha in Ivanovo district, Brest region, 66 meters from a residential house.
BelTA previously distributed a video published on social networks, in which the military commissar of the Brest region, Oleg Konovalov, downplayed the case and assured the population that "there is absolutely no cause for concern." "Unfortunately, such things happen," he added, quoted by Reuters.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense offered to cooperate in the investigation of the case, DPA reported. The ministry released a statement yesterday evening saying it was ready to participate in an "objective investigation into what happened".
The Ukrainian Ministry also stated that the version of provocation by Russia should not be ruled out. Russia may have chosen such a trajectory for its cruise missiles that would lead to their downing in Belarus, the Ukrainian ministry said in a statement.
ISW: Moscow's strategy to break the will of Ukrainians with missile strikes is doomed to failure
The mantra "Calibers will never run out," spread on the official Russian Defense Ministry channel, is the Russian military's way of responding to numerous Western assessments that Russia's arsenal of advanced missiles is about to run out.
That's according to a report today by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
ISW analysts believe that Russia has largely exhausted its stockpile of high-precision weapons systems, but that will not prevent it from continuing to threaten Ukraine's critical infrastructure and cause significant civilian suffering in the short term.
Experts recall the recent statement by Kiril Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff, that Russia has enough missile reserves for two or three more massive strikes.
A day earlier, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, said that the Russians cannot produce a large number of precision weapons.
"They are gradually running out of weapons. The only thing they have in sufficient quantity are the S-300 missiles. But they only fly a short distance," says Danilov.
ISW believes that Russia's campaign to break the will of Ukrainians to resist through large-scale missile strikes on critical infrastructure will fail.
Analysts say this will happen even if the Russians prove capable of carrying out more raids than the Ukrainian intelligence chief suggests.
Yesterday, Russia rained fire on a large part of the territory of Ukraine in two airstrikes. Tu-95MS strategic bombers flying from Volgodonsk and the northern Caspian Sea struck with X-101/X-55 cruise missiles.
Putin signed a law providing for life imprisonment for saboteurs
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law yesterday that provides for life imprisonment for saboteurs, DPA reported, quoted by BTA.
Life imprisonment is provided not only for the perpetrators of sabotage, but also for those who finance and plan it, and also for those who recruit people to carry it out.
After Russian forces invaded Ukraine, a number of attacks were carried out in Russia against recruitment points and against infrastructure sites. These attacks became more frequent after Putin ordered a partial mobilization. As of November, more than 75 public buildings have become objects of attacks, DPA notes.
According to human rights activists, there is a risk that the vague wording of the new law will be interpreted broadly and be used to persecute people who oppose the Kremlin's policies.
In recent months, many people who oppose the war have been sentenced to prison for "discrediting the Russian armed forces", DPA points out.
Russian billionaires to lose .6 billion in 2022 due to war in Ukraine
The richest Russians have lost about 92.6 billion dollars in 2022 because of the events around Ukraine. Bloomberg presented such a picture.
According to his information, in February the total wealth of the richest Russians decreased by 46.6 billion dollars. After the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions by Western countries, they have lost another 47 billion dollars.
Earlier in December, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which has been published since 2012 and is calculated based on the value of companies' shares, reported that since the beginning of this year, the wealth of Russia's richest businessmen has decreased by almost 74. 3 billion dollars. In particular, the shareholder of the mining and metallurgical holding Evraz Roman Abramovich lost 9.3 billion dollars, and his wealth decreased to 8.7 billion dollars.
In addition, the shareholder of the natural gas producer Novatek Gennady Timchenko lost .48 billion and his fortune decreased to .9 billion, and the main shareholder of Severstal Alexey Mordashov impoverished by .79 billion and owns 21 billion dollars.
Tony Blair wanted a higher place for Putin on the international stage
In Britain, a declassified government archive shows that in 2001 Tony Blair pushed for Vladimir Putin to be given a leading place on the international stage, despite the concerns of a number of officials.
It is clear from the documents that the former British prime minister was convinced that it was very important to encourage the then new Russian president to embrace Western values and the Western model.
Tony Blair discussed his vision with the then new US Vice President Dick Cheney. He said that "Putin is a Russian patriot, sensitive to the loss of respect for Russia in the world, and has a similar way of thinking to former French President Charles de Gaulle, although the two are not directly comparable."
As for NATO, Putin has told Blair he will not try to slow down the bloc's expansion process.
Behind the scenes, Downing Street officials have been far more skeptical of Putin. Many politicians in Britain have questioned the credibility of a former KGB agent.
It is also clear from the declassified data that Vladimir Putin has proposed building a gas pipeline to the UK.
The Russian president became the first world leader to receive a pair of silver cufflinks from 10 Downing Street as a birthday present in October 2001.
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