The incident was referred to as “Terror on New Year’s Eve” by Dmytro Lubinets, the human rights ombudsman for Ukraine.
Minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day, several explosions shook the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The assaults on Kyiv on Sunday followed a salvo of at least 20 cruise missiles fired at targets across Ukraine in what officials there labelled “Terror on New Year’s Eve”.
Air raid sirens were activated across the country as a result of the latest attack, and some Kyiv residents climbed up onto their balconies to chant “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes.”
The first explosions of the new year began at 30 minutes after midnight, according to Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, who announced on Telegram. They struck two districts, there were no recent reports of casualties, he said.
According to the city military administration, air defence systems were in operation and 23 Russian-launched “air objects” had been destroyed.
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The conflict, which is now in its eleventh month, will continue until victory is achieved, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who made the statement earlier in the evening.
“We fight and will continue to fight. For the sake of the main word: ‘victory’,” he said in the emotional address. “I want to say to all of you: Ukrainians, you are incredible! See what we have done and what we are doing!” “We fight as one team — the whole country, all our regions. I admire you all. I want to thank every invincible region of Ukraine,” he added.
At least one person was killed and at least a dozen people were injured in the earlier attack on Kyiv, which also damaged the Hotel Alfavito and a residential building. According to Klitschko, one of the injured was a Japanese journalist who was transported to a hospital.
Yaroslav Mutenko, a 23-year-old filmmaker who lives in a flat building close to the Hotel Alfavito, said he heard a boom in the shower while getting ready for a New Year’s Eve party. He said similar explosions had occurred in the neighbourhood during an earlier strike in October, but nothing as powerful as Saturday’s.