While firing missiles toward Kyiv and other Ukrainian borders early on New Year’s Day, Russia maintains its hostile stance toward Ukraine.
For the remainder of the day, air raid sirens may be heard across Ukraine while people celebrate the holidays. The Ukrainian Air Force Command reports that the Ukrainian military successfully repelled the attacks and destroyed over 45 Iranian-made drones. But despite the siege, eyewitnesses claimed that many people continued to chant “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!” from their balconies, showing that the Ukrainian people’s morale was unfaltering.
Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian military and president of Russia, declared he would keep up his unrelenting attempts to invade Ukraine. In a speech, he claimed that the conflict with Ukraine has already lasted 11 months. And he’ll keep fighting until he declares victory. Putin’s address is a long cry from the message of harmony, peace, and thanks delivered by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Early on, Russia’s stakes in the conflict were dramatically diminished when its soldiers lost control of key districts. Experts predicted that Russia might so lose the war. But they foresaw that Putin would stand his ground.
“Since September, I see a lot of changes [in Russia] and a lot of fears,” said Tatiana Stanovara, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar.
“For the first time since the war started, people are beginning to consider the worst-case scenario, that Russia can lose, and they don’t see and don’t understand how Russia can get out of this conflict without being destroyed. People are very anxious. They believe that what is going on is a disaster,” she added.
“The very fact that Russia is still waging this war, despite its apparent defeats in March [when its forces withdrew from Kyiv], indicates that Putin is desperate not to lose,” said Ilya Matveev, a political scientist in St. Petersburg.
“I think that already everyone, including Putin, realized that even tactical nuclear weapons will not solve the problem for Russia. They cannot just stop [the] military advances of [the] Ukrainian army; it’s impossible. Therefore, tactical weapons cannot decisively change [the] situation on the ground,” Matveev added.
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Ukrainians during the New Year
Due to Russia’s strike, Ukraine was harmed, and many families were forced to spend the New Year inside. The curfew began at 7 PM, prohibiting Ukrainians from celebrating in public. Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, claims that during the initial inquiry, there were minor damages and no injuries in the city’s capital. According to Ukraine’s senior military officials, Russia reportedly fired 12 airstrikes and 31 missiles throughout Ukraine in only one day.
“Russia coldly and cowardly attacked Ukraine in the early hours of the new year. But Putin still does not seem to understand that Ukrainians are made of iron,” wrote US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink.
The investigation conducted by the police discovered there was at least one person murdered when the bombardments took place. Kyiv head of police Andrii Nebytov shared a picture in his Telegram account portraying a drone purportedly from Russia with a Russian print wishing them a “Happy New Year.” Meanwhile, the rockets caused more than a dozen Ukrainians to suffer injuries.
“These wreckage are not at the front, where fierce battles are taking place. They are here, on a sports grounds, where children play,” said Nebytov.
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Ukraine thanking the US
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, recently paid a visit to the United States and thanked his Western allies for their ongoing assistance in the conflict. Senior US officials praised Zelenskky for his courage and willingness to work with other international parties to push for the end of the conflict, which has already claimed hundreds of lives. Zelenskyy emphasized Ukraine’s connection with the US in a speech at the White House.
“I hope my words of respect and gratitude resonate in each American heart. Against all odds and doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine didn’t fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking. We have artillery, yes. Thank you. We have it. Is it enough? Honestly, not really,” said Zelenskyy.
“The world is too interconnected and too interdependent to allow someone to stay aside and at the same time to feel safe when such a battle continues. Our two nations are allies in this battle, and next year will be a turning point, I know it – the point where Ukrainian courage. And American resolve must guarantee the future of our common freedom, the freedom of people who stand for their values,” the leader added.
“[The speech] connected the struggle of Ukrainian people to our own revolution, to our feelings that we want to be warm in our homes to celebrate Christmas and to get us to think about all the families in Ukraine that will be huddled in the cold and to know that they are on the front lines of freedom right now,” Clinton said.
“I also think no one is asking for a blank check. I believe the Ukrainians have proven that they are a good investment for the United States. They are not asking us to be there to fight their war. They’re fighting it themselves. They’re asking us and our allies for the means to not only defend themselves but to actually win,” she added.