Kyiv, December 29: Russia launched 122 missiles and 36 drones against Ukrainian targets, officials said Friday, killing at least 13 civilians in what an air force official said was the biggest aerial barrage of the 22-month war. The Ukrainian air force intercepted 87 of the missiles and 27 of the Shahed-type drones overnight, Ukraine's military chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said.
Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on his official Telegram channel: “The most massive aerial attack” since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022. According to the Ukrainian air force, the previous biggest assault was in November 2022 when Russia launched 96 missiles against Ukraine. This year, the biggest was 81 missiles on March 9, air force records show. Russia Launches Biggest Missile Attack on Ukraine Killing at Least 11 and Injuring Over 70 As Several Buildings Hit (Watch Videos).
Russia Fires Missiles and Drones in Ukraine
A maternity ward, educational facilities, a shopping mall, multi-story residential buildings and private homes, a commercial storage, and a parking lot. Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and other cities.
Today, Russia used nearly every type of weapon in its… pic.twitter.com/q5q8Q98Njr
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) December 29, 2023
Fighting along the front line is largely bogged down by winter weather after Ukraine's summer counteroffensive failed to make a significant breakthrough along the roughly 1,000-kilometre (620-mile) line of contact. Ukrainian officials have urged the country's Western allies to provide it with more air defences to protect itself against aerial attacks like Friday's one. Their appeals have come as signs of war fatigue strain efforts to keep support in place.
Scores of people were injured and an unknown number were buried under rubble during the roughly 18-hour onslaught, Ukrainian officials said. Among the buildings reported to be damaged across Ukraine were a maternity hospital, apartment blocks and schools. Russian Missile Hits Apartment Building in Kyiv, Viral Video Shows Black Smoke Covering Skies.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Kremlin's forces used a wide variety of weapons, including ballistic and cruise missiles. “Today, Russia used nearly every type of weapon in its arsenal,” Zelenskyy said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said Russia “apparently launched everything they have,” except for submarine-launched Kalibr missiles, in the attack. The aerial attack that began Thursday and continued through the night hit six cities, including the capital, Kyiv, and other areas from east to west and north to south Ukraine, according to authorities.