President Zelensky said Russia has launched at least 500 missiles and suicide UAVs of all kinds in air strikes against Ukraine over the past 5 days.
“I had a phone call with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about Russia’s air campaign against Ukrainian cities. I am very grateful to Britain for its comprehensive aid packages to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, especially with radar, missiles and anti-unmanned aircraft (UAV) systems,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on January 2.
Mr. Zelensky said that Russia is increasing intense air strikes on many Ukrainian cities during the winter. According to him, Russian forces have launched at least 500 missiles and UAVs toward Ukraine in the past 5 days.
The two leaders also discussed defense cooperation, focusing on the Ukrainian army’s long-range attack and air defense capabilities, as well as the need for additional weapons and ammunition for the battlefield.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has not commented on the information. The agency rarely publishes the number of missiles and suicide UAVs used in coordinated attacks against targets in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Air Defense Command announced on December 29 that Russia launched an attack with 158 missiles and UAVs targeting a series of key urban areas, an unprecedented high in hostilities.
Kyiv announced that it shot down 87 Kh-101/555 cruise missiles and 27 suicide UAVs, equivalent to 72% of the total weapons used by Moscow, but could not block Kinzhal, Kh-22/32, and S-missiles. 300, Iskander-M, Kh-31P and Kh-59.
The second large-scale attack took place on January 2, when Russia deployed 134 missiles of all types and 35 suicide UAVs against Ukraine. The Ukrainian Air Defense Command said that air defense units shot down all 10 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, 62 Kh-101 and Kalibr cruise missiles and 35 suicide UAVs.
Images posted on social networks show the moment a streak of fire suspected to be a Kinzhal hypersonic missile crashed into its target in Kyiv, as well as many locations in the city exploding and burning.
Moscow announced that the targets of its air strikes were defense industry corporations specializing in the production of missiles and UAVs, as well as military equipment repair facilities, missile and ammunition warehouses and aviation weapons donated by the West. Support for Kyiv.
Russian forces also launched many air strikes against Kharkiv province in retaliation for Ukraine’s shelling of Belgorod city, killing at least 25 people.
In the context of nearly deadlocked ground fighting on the front lines, the two sides are increasing long-range attacks targeting each other. Ukraine and its Western allies assess that Russia has accumulated enough missiles and UAVs to be able to launch large-scale, continuous attacks to force the Ukrainian people to live in a second dark and cold winter.