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July 13, 2024

Russia Launches Largest Missile Attack Since Invasion Began

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Dec 30, 2023

Russia unleashed its biggest aerial assault on Ukraine since the invasion began in February, firing over 120 missiles and dozens of drones that killed at least 27 people across the country on December 29. The wide-scale attack struck critical infrastructure in Kyiv and other major cities, spurring international condemnation and renewed calls for Ukraine support.

Missile Barrage Slams Energy Facilities Nationwide

Waves of Russian missiles and Iranian-made kamikaze drones slammed into energy facilities across Ukraine, striking power plants and transmission infrastructure. The strikes triggered electricity outages that left millions without power amid freezing winter temperatures.

Ukraine’s electrical system operator Ukrenergo reported that the barrage targeted “power generation facilities and high-voltage infrastructure of Ukraine’s western regions.” The assault represented Russia’s most intense long-range attack to date, “using the biggest part of their arsenal that exists in Russia,” per a Ukrainian military spokesperson.

Damage from the December 29 Russian missile strikes
Damage from the December 29 Russian missile strikes. Photo: Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs via JPost

Location Missiles Launched Reported Outcome
Kyiv Around 20 missiles
aimed at critical infrastructure
3 dead, power/water outages
Kharkiv 5 missiles Injuries reported
Odesa Iranian kamikaze drone attack Damage to energy infrastructure
Lviv No missiles, but loss of power due to strikes elsewhere Power/water service disrupted
Dnipro No immediate casualty reports Widespread electricity outages

The coordinated attack came days after Ukraine demonstrated its expanding offensive abilities, striking a Russian air base hundreds of miles inside Russia. President Vladimir Putin has framed the invasion as defending Russia and regaining lost regional power.

Military analysts viewed December 29th’s carpet bombing as possible retaliation meant to damage Ukraine’s electrical grid and terrorize civilians headed into winter. Putin also aims “to undermine the will of the Ukrainian people,” a Pentagon spokesperson assessed.

At Least 27 Killed In Devastating Attack

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service reported that missile strikes left at least 27 dead and over 100 injured across eight regions.

Rescuers combed through debris in residential areas of Kyiv slammed by missiles. Mayor Vitali Klitschko stated 3 were killed and 6 wounded in the capital, withdamage to critical infrastructure cutting electricity and water service to some residents.

Further casualties were reported in the Khmelnytskyi region, where multiple Russian missiles destroyed critical infrastructure. Nearby Kharkiv also faced missile strikes and cluster bomb attacks.

The barrage followed lighter attacks in recent weeks as Russia depleted stocks of precision missiles. December 29th saw Moscow throw “everything they have left against Ukraine,” a Ukrainian military spokesperson said, calling it the heaviest wave of missile strikes since the war began.

Biden Pledges Continued Support, More Aid

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Zelenskyy after the strikes, promising steadfast support and additional military aid while condemning Russian aggression.

“We will continue to provide Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defense systems,” Biden tweeted after the call.

The White House urged Congress to swiftly approve $47.7 billion in new assistance for Ukraine, including Patriot missile batteries to counter Russian aerial attacks. Other pledges include Bradley armored vehicles, air surveillance radars, and Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Biden said the U.S. “will continue to impose costs on Russia” for its “unprovoked and unjustified attacks” targeting civilians. He stated that the world must demonstrate that “Putin must stop this war.”

Global Leaders Condemn Onslaught, Vow Support

Leaders across Europe and NATO denounced the heavy Russian air assault targeting Ukrainian civilians and critical infrastructure:

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: “I condemn Russia’s horrific and indiscriminate missile attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”
  • U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly: The strikes are “unacceptable,” and the U.K. will send air defense missiles and drones to aid Ukraine.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron: France will deliver radar and air defense systems to bolster Ukraine’s military capabilities.
  • EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell: The EU “strongly condemns another senseless Russian missile attack.”

In Asia, leaders such as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong criticized the bombardment and backed Ukraine.

Ukraine Vows To Defend Cities, Defeat Russia

Zelenskyy stated that Russia wants to “plunge Ukrainians into darkness and cold” but vowed, “We will endure.” Ukraine aims to get air defense systems that can shield entire cities from aerial attacks.

The president’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak wrote: “The Russians think this will help them, but such actions are instead turning the civilized world against Russia.”

Ukraine’s foreign minister referenced Russia targeting civilians headed into winter and wrote: “There can be no ‘neutrality’ in the face of such pure evil.” He pressed Western nations for more advanced air defenses to protect Ukraine’s grid and civilians.

With global backing and new defensive weapons, Ukraine aims to withstand and repel Russia’s bombardments while pursuing efforts to regain occupied territory in the east and south. Zelenskyy remained defiant after December 29th’s dark day, stating: “We will restore everything and get through all of this.”

The coming weeks may see Russia continue heavy missile attacks while launching a potential new ground offensive. But bolstered by allied support, Ukraine appears determined to defend major cities while working to eject Russian forces in the year ahead.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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