Monday, January 2. Russia’s War On Ukraine: Daily News And Information From Ukraine
Dispatches from Ukraine. Day 313.
As Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues and the war rages on, reliable sources of information are critical. Forbes gathers information and provides updates on the situation.
By Daria Dzysiuk.
Air raid sirens went off across Ukraine as the Russian army deliberately attacked the country’s civilian infrastructure on December 31. “According to preliminary data, the enemy launched more than 20 airborne cruise missiles by Tu-95 strategic bombers from Caspian Sea and ground-based missile systems,” Valerii Zaluzhnyy, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, wrote shortly after the attack. “Our air defense system shut down 12 cruise missiles: six within Kyiv region, five within Zhytomyr region, and one within Khmelnytskyy region.” In Kyiv one elderly man was killed and 16 civilians were injured during the attack on the Solomianskyy and Pecherskyy districts, Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klytchko confirmed. Among those wounded was journalist Wataru Sekita from Japan.
A large prisoner of war exchange took place on December 31, Andrii Yermak, Chief of Staff of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said. Ukrainian officials managed to release 140 Ukrainians from captivity, including Mariupol and Snake Island defenders, territorial defense volunteers from Slavutych, and servicemen fighting on the Bakhmut front.
During the exchange Ukraine returned home a dog named Adik that Russian troops took away from its owner – a Ukrainian servicewoman from Mariupol – after she was captured. Asan Isenadzhyiev, a paramedic of Crimean origin, was also released. Isenadzhyiev’s image from the Azovtsal steel plant on which he poses with his fingers heart-shaped and gloves covered in blood flooded world media during the siege of Azovstal. During the defense of Mariupol, he called on Türkiye’s President Erdogan to help evacuate civilians and troops from the besieged area.
President Zelenskyy’s New Year appeal to his people touched many. Below are a few notable quotes from his speech:
“The explosions on February 24 stunned us. Since then we have not heard everything. And we don’t listen to everyone. We were told: you have no other option but to surrender. We say: we have no other option than to win.”
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine. Intelligence. National Guard. SBU. Special Operations Forces. Border guards. Territorial defense forces. Air defense forces. The police. The State Emergency Service. All our defense and security forces. I am proud of you all, our warriors!”
“This year can be called a year of losses for Ukraine, for the whole of Europe, and the whole world. But it’s wrong. We shouldn’t say that.We haven’t lost anything. It was taken from us. Ukraine did not lose its sons and daughters – they were taken away by murderers. Ukrainians did not lose their homes – they were destroyed by terrorists. We did not lose our lands – they were occupied by invaders. The world did not lose peace – Russia destroyed it.”
“The morning of February 24. Hostomel. Bucha. Irpin. Borodianka. Kharkiv.Mriya. Kramatorsk Station. Toy. Chernihiv. Mariupol. Drama Theater. The word ‘Children’ written. Olenivka. Odesa. Multi-story building. Girl. Three months old. Vilniansk. Maternity hospital. Baby. Two days old. Azovstal.
It’s impossible to forget. And it’s impossible to forgive. But it’s possible to win.”
“We fight as one team – the whole country, all our regions. I admire you all. I want to thank every invincible region of Ukraine.Is there anything that can scare us? No. Is there anyone who can stop us?No. Because we are all together. It is what we are fighting for. One for each other.”
“The return of what has been stolen from us. The childhood of our children, the peaceful old age of our parents.So that grandchildren come to visit their grandparents during the holidays. To eat watermelons in Kherson. And the cherry in Melitopol. So that our cities are free. Our friends are faithful.
And so that our main figure and main success appeared in reports near the figure of 100,000 destroyed enemies, thousands of units of destroyed Russian equipment – it is 603,628 square kilometers. Glory to Ukraine!Happy New Year!”
Russia’s Ministry of Defense confirmed a Ukrainian HIMARS missile strike killed 63 Russian troops based in a vocational school used as a military station in the occupied city of Makiivka, Donetsk region, on December 31. The Ukrainian command has not commented on this news yet.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned of Russia potentially launching a further attack on Ukraine and called on Western countries to be prepared to provide the war torn country with long-term support, in an interview for Radio 4 World at One BBC on January 1. “The Ukrainian forces had the momentum for several months, but we also know that Russia has mobilised many more forces, many of them are now training. All that indicates that they are prepared to continue the war and also try to potentially launch a new offensive,” he said.
Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov told LB.ua media that the Russian army needs at least five years to restore its powers after the losses it suffered in Ukraine. “Nato intelligence acknowledges serious Russian losses in tanks, artillery, manpower, IFV
However, Ukraine’s allies are also running out of resources, according to Reznikov. “Taxpayers count money. Those managing taxes count money too. Therefore, they are interested in our victory on the battlefield. And I systematically hear about this from ministers at the Ramstein platform.”
President Zelenskyy awarded Ukrainian volunteers with ‘The Gold Heart’ award on December 30. “The “Gold Heart” award symbolizes the dedication of volunteers to Ukraine and the defenders of our state. I believe that this is exactly the heart of all representatives of the volunteer movement. And I want to thank you for your heart, for your time, for your life. And for your immense love for Ukraine and for our beautiful people and strong warriors. You are bringing our victory closer, starting from February 24th – every day, every hour, every minute!” his official statement said.