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Ukraine claims to have been attacked by more than a hundred Russian missiles

The Ukrainian army bombarded the positions of the Russian army with French-made "Caesar" self-propelled howitzers in the Wudong region. (28 February 2022)
The Ukrainian army bombarded the positions of the Russian army with French-made “Caesar” self-propelled howitzers in the Wudong region. (28 February 2022)

Russia struck Ukraine Thursday with several missiles, some of which were aimed at the capital, Kiev, and the city of Kharkiv.

Miykhailo Podolyak, an assistant to the Ukrainian president, tweeted that Russia had fired at least 120 missiles “to destroy critical infrastructure and mass kill civilians.”

The attack set off an alarm for air strikes across Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said air defense systems were capable of shooting down incoming missiles.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported on the explosion in the city and said the government was identifying the targets hit by the missiles and whether there were casualties.

Russia has repeatedly used missiles to attack Ukrainian cities, destroying some critical infrastructure.

The Ukrainian military previously said that the Russian army intensified its bombing and shelling of Unan Kherson on Wednesday (December 28) and continued to use a large number of troops along the eastern Ukrainian front.

The Russian army fired dozens of missiles from multiple locations on civilian targets in the city of Kherson, which it abandoned in November, but Russia denied attacking civilian targets, the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Russia also shelled 25 settlements around Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, the Ukrainian General Staff said. The General Staff of the Ukrainian army said that some Russian troops left their posts around Zaporizhzhia. Reuters could not immediately confirm this battlefield news.

Fierce fighting continues around Bakhmut, a Ukrainian-controlled city in the Udongdonetsk region. In the Luhansk region northeast of the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian army is launching an offensive around the cities of Svatos and Klimina in an attempt to tear the Russian defenses.

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Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called for the promotion of the 10-point peace plan, which calls for Russia to recognize the territorial integrity of Ukraine and withdraw Russian troops.

But the Kremlin dismissed the proposal and stepped up its stance, insisting that Kiev must recognize Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts announced after a referendum in September. These referendums were dismissed as shams by Ukraine and most countries. The four oblasts are Luhansk and Donetsk in Udong and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in Unan.

“For Ukraine, there will be no peace plan without taking into account the current reality about Russian territory, which is the accession of four states to Russia,” Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Wednesday. “A solution that does not take these realities into account cannot be peaceful.”

On Wednesday, Zelensky spoke during a closed-door session of the Ukrainian parliament. He urged lawmakers to remain united and resist Russian aggression while praising Ukrainians for leading the West to “find itself again.”

In his 45-minute speech, he said: “The color of our country is now an international symbol of worldwide valor. This was his last speech to parliament this year.

“In any country, on any continent, when you see blue and yellow, you know, this is representing freedom, representing people who do not surrender, they stand tall and unite the world, and they will win,” he said. ”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an annual speech in parliament on the 28th, saying that Ukraine has become one of the world leaders, and he told people to remain united in the face of Russian aggression. 

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Zelensky said that through Ukraine on the battlefield, the whole world has seen that freedom can win. He also thanked the Ukrainian army.

Zelensky mentioned that since Russia invaded 10 months ago, Ukraine has secured the release of 1,456 prisoners of war. Russia is believed to be holding thousands of Ukrainian prisoners of war, though the exact number is unknown.

Russian gas exports to Europe fell to a post-Soviet low in 2022. Europe is Russia’s largest consumer of gas and oil. Data from Europe and Gazprom and Reuter’s indicators show that Russia has drastically reduced gas exports through pipelines due to clashes and damage caused by the mysterious explosion of Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 is one of the two major pipelines on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

The European Union has long talked about minimizing the EU’s dependence on Russian energy, but when Moscow invaded Ukraine in February, Brussels actually did.

State-controlled Gazprom quoted CEO Alexei Miller as saying the company’s exports outside the former Soviet republics will reach 100.9 billion cubic meters this year.

That’s down about 45% from 185.1 billion cubic meters in 2021. This includes gas supplied to China through the Siberian pipeline, through which the company supplied 10.39 billion cubic meters last year.

After explosions paralyzed two Nord Stream pipelines, Russia stopped direct gas exports to Germany, Europe’s largest economy, in September.

(This article draws on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. )

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