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Ukraine intercepts a record 10 Kinzhal missiles in massive Russian strike

Ukraine intercepted 72 targets, including all aeroballistic Kinzhals. Kyiv and Kharkiv were in the crosshairs
Kyiv Russian missile strike
Kyiv apartment building on fire after the Russian missile attack on 2 December. Photo: TG Trukha Kyiv
Ukraine intercepts a record 10 Kinzhal missiles in massive Russian strike

Early in the morning of 2 January 2024, Ukraine was under a massive Russian missile attack, with a record number of aeroballistic Kinzhal missiles fired on capital Kyiv.

The Russian strike killed four Ukrainians and injured 92, President Zelenskyy informed at 9:28.

It happened days after Russia’s latest large missile attack of 29 December, which took the lives of 39 civilians throughout the country. The strikes happen after a summer-autumnal lull, when Russia was considered to be stockpiling missiles. This is unlike last year, when Russia regularly attempted to disable Ukraine’s power system with massive missile strikes in the fall of 2022, starting from October.

Today’s strike also disabled the power system, albeit temporarily. 260,000 Kyivans were left without electricity promptly after the strike; services were restored to 230,000 of them as of 13:20.

Ukraine intercepts 72 missiles, including 10 Kinzhals

Over the New Year’s holiday, Russia attacked Ukraine with 170 Shahed kamikaze drones and missiles of various types, President Zelenskyy said.

According to Ukraine’s Air Force, civilian and critical infrastructure, industrial, and military facilities were attacked. The main focus of the attack was Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

The massive strike included various types of aerial assault weapons, similar to the strike several days prior on 29 December 2023, the Air Force said. 99 missiles of various types were used in the attack. Ukraine intercepted 72 targets:

  • 10 out of 10 Kh-47M2 “Kinzhal” aeroballistic missiles;
  • 59 out of 70 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 cruise missiles;
  • 3 out of 3 “Kalibr” cruise missiles.

In the first wave, Shahed-136/131 suicide drones attacked from the southeast, then moved through various regions of Ukraine. All 35 attack UAVs were destroyed by air defenses, as reported earlier.

In the morning, the enemy used strategic aviation – Tu-95MS bombers. 16 aircraft took off around 6:00 am and launched at least 70 air-launched cruise missiles Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55.

From 7:30 am, launches of 10 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles from MiG-31K fighter jets were recorded.

The enemy also attacked from the sea with three Kalibr cruise missiles, and from the north with 12 missiles flying on a ballistic trajectory like Iskander-M/S-300/S-400.

Four anti-radar missiles Kh-31P were launched from Su-35 tactical aircraft.

The lion’s share of the missiles, and all of the Kinzhals were headed for Kyiv, protected by the US-made Patriot air defense system which has since its first historic downing of a Kinzhal in May intercepted 15 of these touted Russian missiles.

Kharkiv and Kyiv hit

As of 9:40, one person was killed and 41 people were reported injured in Kharkiv, where six Russian missiles were reported to strike the center of the city, destroying apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure, Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration head Oleh Syniehubov informed.

First photos of the damage to Kharkiv by Russian missiles on 2 January 2024. Photo: Gwara media

Later, the tally of victims rose to 45, with 38 hospitalized and one woman in a coma, who later died.

According to the city administration, 41 buildings were damaged, 1,200 windows smashed, heating networks were damaged, leaving six highrises without heating amid freezing temperatures.

In Kyiv, fire had broke out in three apartment buildings and a warehouse. Damage was also caused to a warehouse, many residential and non-residential highrises, private houses, a supermarket, cars, a warehouse, and a park. 27 people were injured, the Kyiv Oblast Military Administration reported. Later, one senior woman was reported to have died in the ambulance.

Firefighters tackle fires that broke out in the aftermath of the attack, and continue evacuating people from their destroyed homes.

“I am grateful to all the partners who help to strengthen our air shield. And it is obvious that this helps to save hundreds of lives every day and every night that would have been taken by Russian terror if not for Patriots and other protective systems.

This year, we will continue to work with everyone in the world who values life to further strengthen our air shield and hold Russia accountable for its actions. The terrorist state must feel the consequences of what it is doing,” President Zelenskyy said.

One of the apartment buildings damaged in Russia’s missile strike on Kyiv. Photo: Kyiv City Military Administration

Russian missile falls on own soil

One of the missiles Russia launched had fallen in its own Voronezh Oblast, claiming no casualties but destroying six private buildings.

  • On 29 December, Russia launched a large-scale aerial missile and drone assault on various Ukrainian cities. The Russian forces deployed approximately 160 missiles and drones in this attack. Ukrainian air defense units successfully intercepted and neutralized 27 drones along with 88 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 cruise missiles.
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