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Military: Ukraine downs 114 of 158 missiles and drones during Russia’s “most massive” air attack

Aftermath of Russia’s air attack on Lviv on 29 December 2023. Source: Telegram/Andrii Sadoviy
Military: Ukraine downs 114 of 158 missiles and drones during Russia’s “most massive” air attack

Overnight on 29 December, Russia launched what Ukraine’s Air Force called “the most massive air attack” against Ukraine, employing 158 missiles and suicide drones, targeting numerous cities all across the country. Ukrainian air defenders destroyed 114 air assets during the attack, according to the Air Force’s report.

According to reports by local authorities, the attack targeted multiple cities across Ukraine, Including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Dnipro, and Lviv.

“Last night, the enemy launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine. Critical infrastructure, industrial and military facilities were attacked. Unfortunately, there are [civilian] fatalities and the wounded,” the Air Force wrote.

According to the Air Force, the timeline of the air attack was as follows:

  • The attack started with several waves of Iranian-made Shahed-136 and Shahed-131 explosive drones, with a total of 36 drones spotted, launched from the north and southeast, and then moving to western Ukraine.
  • At around 3 a.m., 18 Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers took off and reached the launch position at around 6 a.m., firing 90 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 air-launched cruise missiles.
  • At around 05 a.m., Russia’s Tu-22M3 long-range bombers launched eight Kh-22/Kh-32 cruise missiles from Kursk Oblast towards Ukraine’s northern and central regions.
  • At the same time, Russians attacked Kharkiv City with S-300 surface-to-air missiles, using them in their secondary ground-attack role. A total of 14 ballistic missiles – S-300/S-400/Iskander – targeted various regions of Ukraine, fired from occupied Crimea, and Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod regions.
  • At 6:20 a.m., five Russian MiG-31K fighter jets took off and launched five Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles from Russia’s Astrakhan region.
  • Also, Russia’s Su-35 tactical bombers launched four Kh-31P supersonic anti-radiation missiles and one Kh-59 cruise missile.

According to the Air Force’s preliminary data, Russians used 158 means of air attack against Ukraine last night, while Ukrainian air defenses destroyed 114 of those:

  • 87 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 cruise missiles.
  • 27 Shahed-136/131 one-way attack UAVs.
During the national telethon, Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force, said that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian forces have fired 300 Kh-22 missiles at Ukraine, none of which were shot down by air defense systems.

As of 10:20, the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior reported a civilian death toll of 12 and 76 injuries in six regions across Ukraine resulting from the Russian air attack.

Ukraine under massive air attack: civilians casualties reported in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia (updates)

According to many official accounts and photo evidence, numerous civilian facilities bore the brunt of the Russian attack. In Kharkiv’s Kyiv district, a hospital building was harmed, while a warehouse in Kyiv’s Podil district caught fire. An explosion damaged the Lukyanivska metro station, which serves as a bomb shelter. In Lviv, three schools and a kindergarten also sustained damage. In Dnipro, a shopping center and a maternity hospital were hit, detached house, and a 6-story building was damaged. Zaporizhzhia witnessed damage to its civilian infrastructure, in addition to the casualties incurred.

Commenting on the Russian air attack, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised retaliation:

“We will definitely respond to the terrorists’ attacks. And we will fight to guarantee the security of our country, every city, and all our people. Russian terror must lose – and that’s exactly what will happen,” he said.

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