Ukraine, Russia accuse each other of New Year’s Day attacks

At least five people have been killed in Donetsk and Odesa as the two sides continue a wave of escalating attacks that began on Friday.

Debris litters the streets in Kharkiv after a Russian drone hit an apartment building. Residents are inspecting the damage.
Kharkiv residents inspect the damage after an apartment block was hit in a Russian drone attack [Sergey Bobok/AFP]

Five people have been killed in New Year’s Day attacks on Ukraine’s southern Odesa region and the Russian-occupied eastern city of Donetsk, amid escalating conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.

Denis Pushilin, the Russian-installed head of the broader Donetsk region, said four people had been killed in Donetsk, accusing Ukraine of “massive shelling from multiple launch rocket systems”.

At least 14 people had been injured, he added.

Oleh Kiper, the governor of the Odesa region, meanwhile, said one person had been killed after a Russian air raid on Odesa.

Kiper said that Ukraine’s air defence systems were engaged in repelling the drone attack, but the falling debris caused several fires in residential buildings in different parts of the city, and at least three people had been injured.

A social media video, posted by Odesa Mayor Henadii Trukhanov, showed him inspecting a damaged apartment with broken windows.

“They say that how you welcome the New Year is how you will live the year,” Trukhanov said in the post.

“Well, this year Ukraine will break this rule: We will persevere and we will win.

Ukraine’s Air Force said that Russian air attacks also targeted the Mykolaiv and Dnipro regions, as well as the city of Lviv.

Air attacks have escalated since Friday when Russia launched some 158 missiles and drones on Ukraine’s major cities in a barrage that killed at least 30 people and injured more than 140.

That was followed on Saturday by a Ukrainian attack on the Russian border town of Belgorod in which at least 21 people were killed and 111 injured.

With Moscow promising to retaliate, on Sunday it launched a new aerial bombardment of Ukraine, targeting Kharkiv, the country’s second biggest city, with six missiles, as well as drones.

Both sides deny targeting civilians in the war, which began when Russia sent its soldiers into Ukraine in February 2022 in a full-scale invasion of the country.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies