Oleksandr Gimanov Agence France-Presse According to the Air Force, 158 missiles and drones were fired at Ukraine, of which 114 were destroyed. The strikes targeted “civilian installations, civilian buildings,” denounced Andriy Yermak, President Zelensky’s chief of staff.
Russia launched a large series of strikes on Friday morning on several cities in Ukraine, including the capital Kiev, with “a record number of missiles” which, according to Ukrainian authorities, killed at least 18 dead and 132 injured.
NATO member Poland said Friday that an unidentified flying object had entered its airspace from Ukraine, an incident that may be linked to the strikes.
“Today, Russia used almost all types of weapons in its arsenal,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the social network X.
According to the Air Force, 158 missiles and drones were fired at Ukraine, of which 114 were destroyed.
“This is the most massive missile attack in general,” excluding the first days of the war, the spokesperson for Air Force Yuri Ignat.
The strikes targeted “civilian installations, civilian buildings,” assured Andriï Iermak, Mr. Zelensky’s chief of staff.
“We are doing everything possible to strengthen our air shield. But the world must see that we need more help and means to stop this terror,” he added on the social network Telegram.
A statement echoed by American Ambassador Bridget Brink, according to which “Ukraine needs funds now to continue fighting to free itself from such horror in 2024”.
On Wednesday, Washington released the last tranche of military aid granted to kyiv until further notice by the US Congress.
The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, estimated that these strikes demonstrated that Vladimir Putin “will stop at nothing”. France condemned “with the greatest firmness” a “strategy of terror”.
The head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell, denounced “cowardly strikes” and promised that the EU would stand by Ukraine, “as long as it can.” will be necessary.”
Russian fire left at least 18 dead and 132 injured, according to the national police, who specify that people may still be under the rubble.
Russia limited itself to indicating in its daily briefing that “all targets were hit”, as it does every day.
She claimed to have targeted military infrastructure, ammunition depots and places where Ukrainian soldiers were deployed in more than 50 strikes, including a “major” one in Ukraine between December 23 and 29.
UN humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine Denise Brown condemned on /p>
In kyiv, where “anti-aircraft defense is actively functioning” according to its mayor Vitali Klitschko, AFP journalists heard several loud explosions in the early hours.
In the Podil district, in the north of kyiv, a 3,000 m2 hangar was engulfed in flames. A metro station used as an air raid shelter was damaged, as well as several apartment buildings and other hangars.
A maternity hospital in Dnipro was also “severely damaged”, but without casualties, according to the Ministry of Health.
“Critical and urgent” needs
In Poland, search operations are underway after a flying object, “arriving from the border with Ukraine”, was spotted by radar near the border town of Zamosc, in the east of the country.
In November 2022, a Ukrainian missile fell on the Polish village of Przewodow, near the border with Ukraine, killing two civilians. The incident briefly sparked fears of an extension of the conflict.
The wave of Russian strikes ends a difficult year for Ukraine, marked by the failure of its summer counter-offensive and a resumption of initiative by Moscow's forces, who this week claimed the capture of the town of Marinka on the eastern front.
It also comes in a context of running out of Western aid to kyiv, both in Europe and in the United States. A situation that threatens the country with a shortage of ammunition and funds.
U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink said Thursday that Ukraine's financial needs are “critical and urgent.”
President Zelensky once again urged the United States on Thursday to maintain its “essential” assistance, after the release of a new tranche of 250 million US dollars, the last without a new vote in American Congress, which is currently refusing to allocate more money.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vetoed a new EU aid package, a problem that Europeans hope to resolve at a new summit in early February 2024.