Ukraine ‘will not forgive’ Russia, says Volodymyr Zelensky after the fresh attacks

After Russia’s renewed attacks on Kyiv and other cities, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that his country “will not forgive” Russia for the invasion and bombing. Earlier in the day, the mayor of Kyiv reported one death and several injuries, following a series of explosions in the capital. Here’s the thread for December 31st.

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  • 21:05:2023 will be a “victorious” year, Volodymyr Zelensky assures

2023 will be a year of “victory” in the war against Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday in his New Year’s greetings.

“Do you miss faith and hope? Both have been in the (Ukrainian) armed forces for a long time. […] Want light? It is within each of us, even when there is no electricity”, whose supply was severely disrupted by massive Russian bombing, the Ukrainian president specifically said in his Telegram message.

  • 18:21: 2022 ended painfully for Ukrainians

As Ukraine prepares to celebrate the transition to the new year, new attacks have targeted several cities including the capital.

“Not much positive this year, just this New Year and my birthday,” said a young Ukrainian he met at a covered market in Kyiv. “To the enemy, I request him to leave before it’s too late […] You came when no one wanted you!”

Reporting by our special correspondents Mélina Huet, Luke Shrago and Daryna Viter.

  • 16:53: Ukraine “will not forgive” Russia, says Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that his country “will not forgive” Russia for the invasion and bombings after fresh attacks targeting Kyiv and other cities ahead of the New Year.

“No one will forgive you for terror. No one in this world will forgive you for that. Ukraine will not forgive,” he wrote in Russian on Telegram, assuring that “those who ordered such attacks, and those who carried them out, will not be forgiven, to say the least”.

  • 3:20 p.m.: Twenty Russian missiles fired, twelve shot down by Ukraine

The Russian army targeted several Ukrainian cities on Saturday, firing 20 missiles, including from bombers, 12 of which were shot down by Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defense, said Ukrainian Chief of Staff Valery Zalouzhny.

“The enemy launched more than 20 air cruise missiles using Tu-95MS strategic bombers from the Caspian Sea and from ground missile systems. Our air defense forces and assets destroyed 12 missiles,” he said, Valery Zalouzhny said on Telegram.

  • 14:24: over 200 prisoners released by both sides

Russian Defense Ministry Sergei Shoigu said on Saturday that 82 captured Russian servicemen had been released by Ukraine in the latest prisoner swap between the two sides. Ukrainian authorities have announced that they have found 140 detainees.

Sergei Shoigu also announced the capture of the small village of Dorojnianka, in the Zaporijjia region, in southern Ukraine, an advantage that has rarely been claimed, while its position has been largely frozen in the winter.

  • 1:56 p.m.: At least one dead, several injured in Kyiv after strike

Russian strikes targeted several areas of Ukraine on Saturday, including the capital Kyiv, where the bombing left at least one person dead and several others injured, according to local authorities.

“According to preliminary information, one person was killed in the Solomiansky district. Several people were injured,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram. Ukrainian officials also reported destruction and fires in Mykolaiv to the south and Khmelnytsky to the west.

  • 13:26: “The moral and historical truth is on our side,” said Putin in his New Year’s greetings

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday in his New Year’s address that the “moral and historical truth” was “on the side” of Russia, amid attacks in Ukraine and crises with Westerners.

According to Vladimir Putin, the past year has been marked by “truly decisive and momentous events” which “laid the foundation (…) for our true independence”. “That is what we are fighting for today, protecting our people in our own historical territory, in the new constituent entity of Russia,” he added.

The Russian president also warned in his Dec. 31 speech that his country would never give in to Western attempts to use Ukraine to destroy Russia.

  • 13:15: Victory in Ukraine is “inevitable” for the Russian Defense Minister

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in his wishes to the military for the new year that their victory in Ukraine was “inevitable”, after more than ten months of fighting.

  • 1:15 p.m.: Explosions heard in Kyiv

At least a dozen explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Saturday afternoon, according to AFP journalists, as local authorities asked residents to take shelter.

“Explosions have been heard in kyiv! Stay safe!”, wrote mayor Vitali Klitschko on Telegram.

  • 12:44 p.m.: France grants asylum to Ukraine from the conflict zone

The National Court for the Right to Asylum (CNDA) has just granted asylum to a Ukrainian national from an area that lies at the heart of the armed conflict with Russia, a conflict whose level of violence justifies, in his opinion, the “granting of international protection” to the person concerned.

The CNDA “just granted asylum to Ukrainian nationals from the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Zaporijjia”, without specifying the number of persons concerned, it said in a press release published on Saturday.

  • 12:40 p.m.: Ukrainians spend New Years at war

It is in the midst of this armed conflict with Russia that Ukraine is preparing to enter 2023. Energy shortages, separated families, curfews… Details from Mélina Huet, France 24 special envoy in kyiv.

  • 12:37 p.m.: Sirens sound over Ukraine

Sirens sounded this Saturday across Ukraine, whose leaders recommended residents take cover, fearing renewed Russian airstrikes.

With Reuters and AFP

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