Ukrainian authorities on Sunday reported a death toll of four and 50 wounded in Russian strikes carried out shortly before and just after the New Year, which Moscow said targeted drone manufacturing facilities.
These attacks targeted in particular the capital, Kyiv, and seven other Ukrainian regions, according to the latest report from local and regional authorities.
AFP journalists present in Kyiv had heard a dozen explosions on Saturday at the start of the afternoon and several others a few dozen minutes after the New Year. In the center of Kyiv, a missile notably ripped open the facade of 'hotel.
The Ukrainian Air Force also announced that it shot down 45 Iranian-made Shahed explosive drones launched by Russia overnight. She did not say whether drones had hit their targets.
Kyiv Police Chief Andriy Nebitov posted a photograph on Facebook showing what appears to be the remains of a drone with the words "Happy New Year" in Russian.
"This is all you need to know about the terrorist state and its military," he wrote.
The Russian military meanwhile claimed to have carried out on Saturday “a long-range precision airborne attack against Ukrainian defense industry facilities involved in the manufacture of attack drones used to carry out terrorist attacks against Russia. ".
"The Kyiv regime's plans to carry out terrorist attacks against Russia in the near future have been foiled," the Russian Defense Ministry said in its daily report.
Moscow often describes as “terrorist acts” the operations carried out by the Ukrainian army on Russian territory or on its installations in Ukraine.
The Russian army has also announced that it will continue its offensive in the Donetsk region, in eastern Ukraine, where most of the fighting is currently concentrated.
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba had accused Russia of having deliberately targeted residential areas on Saturday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted by assuring that his country "will not forgive" Moscow.
According to the detail of the death toll of the Russian New Year strikes, three people died, including a young woman of 22 years, in the city of Khmelnytsky in the West of the country. Among the 50 injured are a 13-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister in a village near Kherson in the south, according to the presidency.
One person was also killed on Sunday and three others injured in a Russian strike in Orikhiv in the southern Zaporizhia region, according to regional authorities.
On the pro-Russian side, the authorities of the separatist territories in eastern Ukraine reported the death of a civilian in Ukrainian bombardments on Sunday in Yassynouvata in the Donetsk region.
According to them, the Ukrainian army also struck Donetsk and the neighboring town of Makiivka just after midnight, injuring at least 15 people.
In New Year's greetings to Ukrainians, Volodymyr Zelensky praised Ukraine's resistance to the Russian invasion launched in February, saying his country would fight until "victory" and the return of all Russian-occupied territories .
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared for his New Year's greetings alongside soldiers who fought in Ukraine. He assured that "moral and historical correctness" was on his country's side in this war, accusing the West of "cynically using Ukraine and its people to weaken and divide Russia".
Moscow, which claimed in September the annexation of four Ukrainian regions that it controls at least partially, has experienced setbacks on the ground in recent months, notably having to withdraw from the Kharkiv region in the northeast and from the city of Kherson in the south.
In reaction to these defeats and to Ukrainian attacks against civilian and military sites in Russia and annexed Crimea, the Russian army opted from October for a tactic of bombing Ukrainian infrastructure, regularly causing massive cuts electricity and water.