In Kiev, the sirens sound again on Friday morning. Officials asked people to shelter in place and said a drone strike was underway. Yesterday, Russia shot down 54 missiles and 11 drones by Ukrainian air defenses. President Volodymyr Zelensky says the blast left most of the area without electricity. He accused the Russians of wanting to capture the Donetsk region before the New Year.
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Update 9.00 Volodymyr Zelensky: “There is a power outage in most parts of Ukraine. It is difficult, especially in Kyiv region and the capital, Lviv region, Odesa city and region, Kherson city and region, Vinnytsia and Transcarpathia.
The situation on the front line remained without significant changes. The worst situation is in Bahmut in Soledar along the entire route of Donetsk region.
The enemy did not give up the crazy idea of capturing the Donetsk region. Now, they have set their mission to conquer the region before the New Year.”
NATO chief asks Ukraine for new weapons: “It seems a paradox, but military aid is the shortest path to peace”
Update 8.40 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appealed for more weapons to be sent to Ukraine.
“It may sound like a paradox, but military support for Ukraine is the shortest path to peace,” the Norwegian politician said in a year-end interview to dpa, as quoted by Agerpres. Russian President Vladimir Putin must be convinced he will not achieve his goal of annexing Ukraine, he said.
Stoltenberg said that a “peaceful solution can be found through negotiations, which will ensure that Ukraine maintains itself as a democratic and independent state.”
Sirens sounded in Kiev, and people were instructed to go to air raid shelters
Update 8.20 Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were advised to evacuate to air raid shelters as sirens blared across the city on Friday morning, a day after Russia launched its biggest airstrikes since the war began in February, Reuters reported.
Just after 2:00 a.m., Kyiv city authorities issued a telegram warning of air raid sirens and asked residents to go to shelters.
Oleksiy Kuleba, the governor of the Kyiv region, said on Telegram that a “drone attack” was underway.
A witness told Reuters he heard several explosions and anti-aircraft fire about 20 kilometers south of Kiev.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message Thursday evening that Ukraine’s central, southern, eastern and western air commands had shot down 54 Russian missiles and 11 drones.
Zelensky acknowledged that most regions are experiencing power outages. Areas where power outages were “particularly hard” included the capital Kyiv, Odesa and the south of Kherson and surrounding areas, but also the area around Lviv near Poland’s western border, Zelenskiy said.
“But this is nothing compared to what would have happened without our heroic anti-aircraft troops and anti-aircraft defenses,” he said.
Pictures taken by Reuters on Thursday show emergency workers searching the smoldering remains of residential buildings in Kyiv destroyed by the explosion and smoke trails from rockets in the sky. Officials previously said more than 120 rockets were fired in Thursday’s attack.
More than 18 residential buildings and 10 critical infrastructure installations were destroyed in the latest attacks, the Defense Ministry said.
A wave of Russian airstrikes in recent months targeting energy infrastructure has left millions without electricity.
“I’m not a traitor.” Who are the Russians who fight for Zelensky and say that the Ukrainians are “doing their job right”.
Update 8.00 Hundreds of Russians are fighting alongside Ukrainians in the war Putin started. I am part of a regiment that appeared at the beginning of the Russian invasion, made up of foreign volunteers who joined the army of Kiev. They say that they are not traitors, that they are not fighting against Russia, that they are fighting against Putin’s regime, “against evil”.
In a statement published by the Moscow Times, a representative of Russian volunteers fighting alongside the Ukrainian army explains their decision. He, formerly known as Caesar, spoke to the aforementioned publication from a village in the Donetsk region. He said it was crucial that information about the exact number of Russians fighting alongside Ukrainians or their front lines remain secret.
“I am not fighting with my homeland. I am fighting against Putin’s regime, against evil. I am not a traitor. I am a true Russian patriot who thinks about the future of my country,” says the soldier.
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