Ukrainians turn on Christmas tree lights in Kyiv in defiance of Putin’s ‘kamikaze’ drone attack
Brave citizens of Ukraine turned on Christmas tree lights in Kyiv despite Putin’s “kamikaze” drone attack on their energy infrastructure hours earlier.
A 12-meter tree has been put up in a square in front of Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in downtown Kyiv.
At the top of the tree is the Ukrainian coat of arms in the shape of a traditional trident, illuminated in the country’s colors of blue and yellow.
A generator will power the tree to ensure the celebration continues throughout the holiday season.
Residents of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv prepare for the Christmas and New Year holidays, despite continuous attacks by the Russian army by lighting their city’s tree
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko was present at the inauguration ceremony of the Christmas tree installed in Hagia Sophia Square
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said its air defenses shot down 23 of 28 drones – most over the Ukrainian capital – in what was the third Russian airstrike in six days and the last in series since October targeting Ukraine’s power grid, causing widespread blackouts. amid sub-zero temperatures.
No casualties were reported from the drone strikes, although nine buildings were damaged in the city area.
Ukraine’s Atomic Energy Agency has accused Russia of sending one of the drones over part of Ukraine’s southern nuclear power plant in the Mykolaiv region.
Ukrainians continue to show efforts for perseverance and unity even after Russian attacks
The tree, lit up in the colors of the country’s flag, is a beacon of hope for locals as they celebrate the festive season
“This is an absolutely unacceptable violation of nuclear and radiological safety,” Energoatom wrote on Telegram.
Russian invading forces now occupy the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor complex, the largest in Europe, in southeastern Ukraine, near the front line.
A Reuters witness said a fire raged overnight at an energy facility in the oft-targeted Shevchenkivskyi district in central Kyiv, a city of 3.6 million.
The Solomianskyi district in the western part of Kyiv, a busy transport hub and home to a train station and one of the city’s two passenger airports, was also hit.
At the top of the tree is the Ukrainian coat of arms in the form of the traditional trident
“As a result of the attack on the capital, critical infrastructure was damaged,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app. “Engineers are working to quickly stabilize the situation with the energy and heat supply.”
Oleskiy Kuleba, governor of the region surrounding Kyiv, said infrastructure and private homes were damaged and three areas were left without power.
In northwest Ukraine, there has been constant Russian and Belarusian military activity for months in Belarus, a close Kremlin ally that Moscow’s troops used as a launching pad for their abortive attack on Kyiv in February. .
Putin’s trip, for talks with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, was his first to Minsk since 2019 – before the pandemic and a wave of Belarusian street protests in 2020 that Lukashenko crushed with Kremlin backing.
Russia hit key energy infrastructure in and around Kyiv today in a ‘kamikaze’ drone attack
“During (these talks), questions will be worked out for a new aggression against Ukraine and a wider involvement of the Belarusian armed forces in the operation against Ukraine, in particular, in our opinion, also on the ground “, said the commander of the Ukrainian joint forces Serhiy Nayev. said before Putin arrived.
Lukashenko has repeatedly said he has no intention of sending his country’s troops to Ukraine, where an invasion of Moscow has failed badly lately with a series of battlefield retreats in the face of to a major Ukrainian counter-offensive.
The Kremlin rejected the suggestion that Putin wanted to push Belarus to take a more active role in the conflict. The RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the reports were “baseless” and “stupid”.
Russian troops who moved to Belarus in October will conduct battalion tactical exercises, Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing the Defense Ministry. It was not immediately clear when they would start.
Ukraine’s 10-month conflict, Europe’s largest since World War II, has killed tens of thousands of people, driven millions from their homes and reduced cities to rubble.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says the armed forces are holding their ground in the town of Bakhmut – the scene of the fiercest fighting for many weeks as Russia seeks to advance in Donetsk province in eastern Ukraine .
Today, Zelenskiy called on Western leaders meeting in Latvia to provide a wide range of weapon systems, especially modern battle tanks, air defense systems and artillery.
Denis Pushilin, Russian administrator of the Moscow-controlled part of Donetsk region, said Ukrainian forces bombed a hospital in the city of Donetsk, killing one person and injuring several others.
Firefighters were called to extinguish the fire caused by the attack drones in an infrastructure
The Russian Defense Ministry said that in the past 24 hours its forces shot down four American-made HARM anti-radiation missiles over the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, the agency reported. official TASS press release.
Putin describes what he calls Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine as when Moscow finally stood up to the US-led Western bloc seeking to capitalize on the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 by destroying Russia.
Kyiv and the West say his claim is nonsense and that Putin has no justification for what they see as an imperial-style war to reassert dominance over the former Soviet republic and put Moscow in control of about one-fifth from Ukraine.
The dispute has driven up energy prices after Western sanctions on Russia, a huge oil and gas exporter, prompted Moscow to cut off most gas supplies to Europe in retaliation.