February 20, 2024

KYIV, Ukraine: Kyiv mentioned Sunday it had destroyed 21 of 49 Iranian-made drones fired after Russia vowed to retaliate for what it referred to as a “terrorist assault” on a border metropolis that left 24 lifeless.

The Ukrainian air drive mentioned the “Shahed” drones have been notably focused at “the entrance line of protection, in addition to at civilian, army and infrastructure amenities within the front-line territories.”

Six guided missiles had additionally focused the northeastern metropolis of Kharkiv, Kyiv mentioned in a press release on Telegram, with out specifying whether or not they had hit their targets.

Oleg Sinegubov, the top of Kharkiv’s army administration, mentioned there had been 28 civilians wounded within the assault on the town, together with two youngsters and a international citizen.

Residential buildings, workplaces and cafes have been hit within the newest in a single day assaults, mentioned Kharkiv mayor Igor Terekhov.

“On the eve of the New 12 months, Russians need to intimidate our metropolis, however we’re not scared,” he mentioned.

The contemporary Russian strikes got here a day after the deadliest assault on civilians in Russia for the reason that begin of the battle in February 2022.

The official loss of life toll has risen to 24 with 108 wounded in Belgorod — simply 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Ukrainian border, which has been repeatedly struck by what Moscow says is indiscriminate shelling.

The 2 sides took turns to accuse one another of pummelling civilian areas of their shared frontier area over the weekend.

The governor of Belgorod area, Vyacheslav Gladkov, mentioned Sunday that one particular person had been killed by Ukrainian shelling in a village near the border.

Moscow mentioned the Belgorod assault had included using controversial cluster munitions, and instructed an emergency assembly on the UN Safety Council that Kyiv had focused a sports activities middle, an ice rink and a college.

Russian envoy Vasily Nebenzya referred to as it a “deliberate, indiscriminate assault towards a civilian goal.”

Ukraine’s allies countered that accountability in the end lay with Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading the neighboring nation almost two years in the past.

“If Russia desires somebody responsible for the deaths of Russians on this warfare, it ought to begin with President Putin,” mentioned British envoy to the UN Thomas Phipps.

Putin gave his conventional New 12 months’s Eve tackle on Sunday, during which he praised Russia’s troopers on the entrance line and referred to as for unity within the face of “tough duties.”

“To all those that are on responsibility, on the entrance line of the battle for fact and justice,” Putin mentioned, “you might be our heroes. Our hearts are with you. We’re happy with you, we admire your braveness.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed in his New 12 months’s tackle to wreak “wrath” towards Russian forces in 2024, regardless of what he mentioned have been makes an attempt to “undermine” help for Kyiv.

The Belgorod assault got here a day after Ukraine mentioned a barrage of Russian missile strikes on a number of cities, together with the capital, had killed 39 individuals.

Colleges, a maternity hospital, buying arcades and blocks of flats have been among the many buildings hit in Friday’s barrage, some of the violent assaults for the reason that begin of the warfare.

Ukraine was nonetheless sifting by means of the rubble on Saturday when contemporary strikes hit the areas of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Chernigiv, in accordance with native authorities.

Three extra individuals have been killed by Russian strikes throughout Ukraine on Saturday, the officers mentioned.

January 1 was to be declared a day of mourning within the capital Kyiv, the place 19 individuals had been killed, metropolis officers mentioned.

Russia’s military mentioned it had “carried out 50 group strikes and one huge strike” on army amenities in Ukraine over the previous week, including that “all targets have been hit.”

The United Nations condemned the assaults and mentioned they have to cease “instantly.”

Ukraine is urging Western allies to keep up army help.

“Subsequent yr will likely be a time of many choices — international choices. And Ukraine wants to have the ability to affect them to have the ability to obtain its objectives,” Zelensky mentioned in his night tackle Saturday.

“We’ll battle for our affect, for justice for Ukraine, and I’m grateful to all of the leaders who assist, who’ve been with us since February twenty fourth and will likely be with us in 2024.”

Britain introduced it might ship a whole bunch extra air-defense missiles to Kyiv, after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared: “We should proceed to face with Ukraine — for so long as it takes.”