During the night, Russia initiated an intense assault against Ukrainian targets, launching around 110 missiles and drones, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This attack, spanning approximately 18 hours, resulted in the death of at least seven civilians, marking one of the most extensive aerial barrages in the 22-month-long conflict. Zelenskyy reported that the majority of the incoming missiles and drones were successfully intercepted, but numerous injuries occurred, and an unknown number of people were trapped under rubble. Notable buildings damaged included a maternity hospital, residential blocks, and schools across Ukraine.
Zelenskyy revealed that the Kremlin’s forces employed a diverse array of weaponry in the assault, encompassing ballistic and cruise missiles. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat commented that Russia appeared to have utilized its full arsenal in the attack. If Zelenskyy’s count is validated, this would stand as the most extensive aerial assault by Russia since the full-scale invasion commenced in February 2022. The previous record, according to the Ukrainian air force, was in November 2022 when Russia launched 96 missiles against Ukraine.
The bombardment unfolded amidst a stalemate in front-line fighting due to winter weather, following Ukraine’s unsuccessful summer counteroffensive along the approximately 1,000-kilometer line of contact. The assault targeted six cities, including the capital Kyiv, covering a broad expanse from east to west Ukraine. The situation underscores the persistent and escalating conflict dynamics despite periodic attempts at negotiation and de-escalation efforts.