As Putin pledges to escalate assaults on Ukraine, Kyiv is being relentlessly targeted by Russian missiles.

Explosions reverberate throughout the capital a day after Russian leader cautioned of retaliation for Belgorod attack
Kyiv has been heavily assaulted with at least 10 individuals injured in a missile attack following Vladimir Putin’s warning about escalating Russia’s assault on Ukraine.
Explosions were heard in all districts of the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday morning, resulting in two residential buildings catching fire in the Solomyansky district and a fire breaking out at a local market in the Podilsky district. The missile strike caused power and water supply failures in some areas of the city.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, reported on the Telegram messaging app that a minimum of 10 people had been wounded.
The attack came just a day after the Russian president stated that Moscow would intensify its assault following a Ukrainian attack on the Russian city of Belgorod, which local officials claimed killed 25 people, including five children. This came after Moscow’s large-scale attack on Ukrainian cities on Friday, resulting in over 40 deaths and 160 injuries.
“We will intensify the attacks. No harm to civilians will go unpunished, that is certain,” Putin declared on Monday while visiting a military hospital.
In his address to Russian soldiers, Putin expressed his belief that Russia held the “strategic initiative” in the war. “That is how I am being briefed,” he stated. He also mentioned that Moscow aimed to end the conflict, which the UN estimated had claimed the lives of over 10,000 Ukrainian civilians since February 2022, “as quickly as possible,” but “only on our terms.”
The missile strikes occurred after Ukraine accused Russia of targeting the country with a “record” number of drones on New Year’s Day. Moscow launched 90 Iranian-made Shahed drones on the last night of the year, 87 of which were destroyed. Kyiv also reported that Russian shelling caused the death of one person in the southern Odesa region and another person in Kherson on New Year’s Day.
The escalating violence coincided with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stating in an interview with The Economist that the notion of Russia winning the nearly two-year-long war was merely a “feeling” and that Moscow was still enduring significant battlefield losses.
Zelenskiy did not provide any evidence of his claim regarding Russian losses. He mentioned that among Ukraine’s priorities in 2024 was to target Russia’s strengths in Crimea to reduce attacks on his country and protect key cities on the eastern front.
He acknowledged that Ukraine had perhaps not achieved everything as quickly as the world had hoped for in 2023. However, he highlighted heavy Russian losses in the besieged eastern town of Avdiivka, which he personally visited last week, as evidence that Russia was not “winning.”
“Thousands, thousands of Russian soldiers killed, without anyone even removing their bodies,” he stated in the interview. In contrast, he celebrated Ukrainian forces successfully breaking through a Russian Black Sea blockade, allowing grain exports through a new route along the southern coast.
With additional support for Ukraine facing obstacles in the US and EU, Zelenskiy stressed the need for more efforts to persuade global leaders that defending Ukraine meant defending the world.
Zelenskiy rejected any suggestion that Moscow was genuinely interested in peace talks, pointing to its repeated waves of aerial strikes. “I only see the actions of a terrorist nation,” he remarked.
He noted that any Russian proposal for talks “is not because they are righteous, but because they lack enough missiles, ammunition, or prepared troops.”
When discussing the situation on the battlefield on Monday, Putin believed that the “strategic initiative” in the protracted conflict in Ukraine lay with the Russian side, especially after the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the summer.
Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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