At least five people are dead and more than 130 are injured after a barrage of Russian missiles and drones hammered Ukraine’s two largest cities, according to Kyiv officials. Kyiv has been using U.S.-provided Patriot missiles as a safety net, but the latest attack, which included hypersonic missiles, overwhelmed the system. The attack comes just a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to retaliate after a Ukrainian attack against a city in Russia.
According to Ukrainian media, a Russian missile fell into the Dnipro River in Kyiv Tuesday morning after apparently being shot down by the capital’s air defenses.
However, the defenses were insufficient as the new year began with another Russian onslaught, this one overnight involving, according to Ukraine’s air force, around 100 missiles, including hypersonic “Kinzhal” ballistic missiles.
The Ukrainian military’s commander-in-chief said U.S.-provided patriots destroyed 10 out of 10 of the Kinzhals. Had the Russian missiles hit their targets, he said, “the consequences would be catastrophic.”
There was still significant damage due to Moscow’s strategy of overwhelming Kyiv’s air defenses with large-scale attacks.
A Ukrainian member of parliament posted images of the windows blown out in her Kyiv apartment. She says she only suffered minor injuries.
Amid fear that Putin has more in store, the SBU, Ukraine’s security service, warned citizens against using webcams that show the skyline in real time. They offered an example of one webcam that had been hacked by Russia to help it correct its targeting.
Amid these missile strikes, Ukraine and Russia’s neighbor Poland is scrambling F-16 fighter jets to protect its airspace. Last week, the NATO country’s air force said it detected a Russian missile briefly crossing over its territory — part of a massive Russian strike over the holidays.