News Russian missile attack on Ukraine kills one in Kyiv
- Russia fires more than 20 cruise missiles, killing 1
- President Zelensky says Russians are in collusion with the devil
- Attack dubbed ‘New Year’s Eve terror’ in Kyiv
- Energy minister says attack did not cause serious damage
KYIV, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Russia fired more than 20 cruise missiles at targets in Ukraine on Saturday, killing at least one person in Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. He said the attack showed that Moscow was in collusion with the devil.
Russia’s second major missile strike in three days has severely damaged a hotel and a residential building in Kyiv. Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Facebook that the strike did not cause serious damage to the national power system.
Russia has been attacking critical infrastructure in Ukraine with missiles and drones since October, causing a general blackout as the cold weather hit.
In his video address, Zelensky noted that Russia had also launched attacks on Easter and Christmas.
“They call themselves Christians … but they support the devil. They support him and are with him,” he said.
At least a dozen people were injured in the attack. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said a Japanese journalist was taken to hospital among the wounded.
DTEK, the country’s largest private energy company, later said it had canceled an emergency blackout in and around Kyiv.
In comments to a Russian spokesman, Zelensky said President Vladimir Putin was destroying Russia’s future.
“No one will forgive you for the terror. No one in the world will forgive you for this. Ukraine will not forgive you,” he said, reiterating calls for allies to provide more air and anti-missile systems.
Army Chief of Staff Valery Zaluzhny said the air defense system shot down 12 incoming cruise missiles, six near the Kyiv region, five in the Zhytomyrskiy region and one in the Khmeltnytskiy region.
He telegraphed that the cruise missiles were launched from strategic bombers and land-based launchers in the Caspian Sea hundreds of miles away.
“Russia’s massive missile attack is deliberately targeting residential areas, not even our energy infrastructure,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter after the attack.
“The war criminal Putin ‘celebrated’ the New Year by killing people,” Kuleba said, calling for Russia to be stripped of its permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Ukrainian human rights monitor Dmytro Lubinets described the attack as “a terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve”.
Other Ukrainian cities have also come under fire. In the southern Nikolayev region, local governor Vitaly King said on television that six people had been injured.
In another Telegram post, Kim said Russia was targeting civilians, a claim Moscow had previously denied.
“Based on today’s trends, occupiers are not only attacking critical (infrastructure) … in many cities (they are targeting) just residential areas, hotels, garages and roads.”
Two people were injured in a drone attack in the western city of Khmelnytsky, Ukrainian presidential aide Yulia Tymoshenko said. He also reported strikes in the southern industrial city of Zaporozhye, which Tymoshenko said damaged residential buildings.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense responded in a telegram: “With each new missile attack on civilian infrastructure, more and more Ukrainians believe that it is necessary to fight until the Putin regime completely collapses.”
A 7pm-midnight curfew remains in place across Ukraine, making it impossible to celebrate the start of 2023 in public.
Several local governors posted messages on social media warning residents not to break restrictions on New Year’s Eve.
(This story has been refiled to fix a typo in the title)
Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk and David Ljunggren; Writing by Max Hunder and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Hugh Lawson, David Holmes and Mark Porter
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