Ukraine reportedly managed to fend off Russian drone attacks during the night
MLess than 24 hours after a new heavy bombardment of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, Kyiv claims to have repelled a nighttime attack by Russian-launched explosive drones. The army also claims to have shot down 16 Iranian-built aircraft that were launched.
Since October and a series of military setbacks on the front, Russia has adopted the tactic of attacking Ukraine’s power plants and transformers with missiles and drones, leaving the population cold and black in the dead of winter. Thursday’s strike, using dozens of missiles, was the tenth of its kind and was followed by a nighttime salvo from the Shahed explosive drone, according to the Ukrainian Air Force.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said seven of them were targeting the capital. Two were shot “on approach” to the town and another five above it. There were no casualties, but falling debris broke the windows of two buildings in Kyiv’s southwestern district, he added.
According to the Ukrainian presidency, another drone was shot down in the Cherkassy and Dnieper regions in the center of the country.
New Years without water or electricity
According to the latest reports, 58 out of 70 cruise missiles fired by Russia were shot down on Thursday. And a total of four civilians were killed and eight injured, according to the latest report from the Ukrainian presidency on Friday. In a message posted on social media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that the war was “difficult”, but said he was “confident […] that Russian aggression would fail[it] “.
Power outages remained profuse Friday, while electricity has been heavily rationed across the country for weeks. Thus, millions of Ukrainians who do not have generators are preparing to celebrate the New Year without electricity, sometimes without water or heating, and under curfew.
According to the Ukrenergo power company, “the consequences of damage to network functions were less than the enemy expected. […] but the situation in the south and east of the country remains difficult.” In addition, “restrictions on consumption have been imposed in all regions” of Ukraine, he added in a statement. To counter this, generators have been multiplied in cities across the country. From Kyiv to Lviv, the devices are snoring on the sidewalks to supply businesses and restaurants in particular and enable them to operate.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24, enters its tenth month, fighting continues to rage, with bloody battles for Bakhmout, a city in the east of the country that Russia has been trying to conquer for months, and Kreminna, which Ukrainian forces are trying to retake. Russia, which was planning a blitz campaign, had to give up capturing Kyiv in the spring, withdrawing from the north of the country, before leaving the northeast in September and part of the south in November, facing over-motivated Ukrainian troops and the might of western weapons systems.
Putin called on China to cooperate
Prospects for peace talks are almost non-existent. Ukraine is demanding a total withdrawal of Russian troops as Moscow wants Kyiv to give up at least four areas the Kremlin has claimed in annexation since late September, as well as Crimea which it annexed in 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in early December justified the tactic of a massive strike affecting millions of civilians, calling it a response to Ukraine’s attacks on Russian infrastructure. He also presented his invasion, at heavy loss, as “a must”, ensuring that the West used Ukraine as a bridge to threaten Russia.
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Hence, Russia-West relations are at an all-time low, with Europe and America increasing sanctions against Moscow and increasing their military support for Ukraine. On Friday, during a video conference interview with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia’s ally Vladimir Putin assessed that the two countries were successful against the West. “In the context of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West, we defend our position,” said Vladimir Putin, advocating besides “strengthening cooperation between the armed forces of Russia and China.”