Kyiv rocked by explosions amid Russia’s New Year attacks

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A fresh round of explosions rocked Kyiv less than an hour into 2023, after Russia had attacked Ukraine with missiles targeting the capital and other cities ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The first blasts of the new year began roughly 30 minutes after midnight, hitting two districts, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram, adding there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Earlier in the evening, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainians would fight until victorious.

“We fight and will continue to fight. For the sake of the main word: ‘victory’,” he said in an address, as his country saw the old year out hours after the new wave of strikes.

“I want to say to all of you: Ukrainians, you are incredible! See what we have done and what we are doing!” Zelensky said in the emotional speech.

“We fight as one team –- the whole country, all our regions. I admire you all. I want to thank every invincible region of Ukraine,” he continued.

As Russian regions in the Far East rang in 2023, Russian leader Vladimir Putin delivered his midnight address — usually set against the backdrop of the Kremlin — standing among servicemen and women who fought in Ukraine.

He told them that “historical rightness” was on their side.

At around the same time, explosions shook the Ukrainian capital with at least 11 loud blasts in the early afternoon.

Klitschko said on social media that at least one person died as a result of the attacks on Saturday while city authorities said 22 others were injured.

One explosion tore open one corner of the four-star Hotel Alfavito in Kyiv, spilling rubble into the street. From Page 8

Nearby sidewalks were covered in glass from blown-out windows in the area, including from Kyiv’s National Palace of Arts. Filmmaker Yaroslav Mutenko, 23, lives in a nearby apartment complex and said he was in the shower preparing to go to a New Year’s Eve party when he heard a boom. He said there had been similar explosions in the area during a previous attack in October, but nothing as loud as Saturday’s explosion.

As he watched rescue workers cordon off the street in front of the hotel, he told AFP he still planned to go to the party at a friend’s house.

“Our enemies the Russians can destroy our calm but they cannot destroy our spirit,” he said. “Why do I go celebrate with friends? Because this year I understand that it is important to have people near.” The attacks come as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine enters its 11th month, with Russian strikes systematically targeting energy infrastructure, leaving millions in the cold and dark in the middle of winter. Strikes were also reported in the southern city of Mykolaiv where a local official said seven people were injured.

Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Sienkievych had said earlier that a fire broke out in one of the city’s districts and several residential buildings sustained damage as a result of the strikes.