Zelenskyy: Russia fired 500 missiles and drones

01/02/2024 23:57 (current 01/03/2024 00:00)

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky ©APA/AFP

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia recently attacked with hundreds of missiles and drones. “In the last five days, the enemy has fired at least 500 missiles and drones at Ukraine,” Zelensky said Tuesday night on X, after speaking by phone with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Zelenskyy thanked Sunak for his support for Ukrainian air defense.

The Russian side reported air defense successes late in the evening. The Defense Ministry in Moscow said nine Ukrainian rockets were fired over the Belgorod region. This thwarted a terrorist attack on Russian territory. The governor of Russian-occupied Crimea also reports successes in air defense. A rocket was intercepted over Sevastopol, writes Mikhail Razvoshayev in Telegram. No one was injured and no damage was caused. Several short Telegram messages stated that there were loud explosions in various parts of Sevastopol.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna expressed its “full solidarity” with Ukraine on Tuesday evening, again this year. Russia must “withdraw its troops and immediately end this war of aggression,” said a post on X.

The British government said in a statement that Sunak expressed his condolences for the Ukrainian victims injured or killed in Russia's “barbaric air strikes” over the Christmas period. The UK will continue to support Ukraine in its fight against aggression and occupation in 2024 and beyond.

During the phone call, Sunak explained Britain's efforts to provide continued military and diplomatic support to Ukraine, “including through new arms deliveries.” The British Prime Minister also remembered all the Ukrainians “who were killed and injured in the barbaric Russian airstrikes over the Christmas period”, as the spokesman put it.

Just before Christmas, Russia launched one of the biggest waves of attacks since the start of the war against the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and other cities. At least 40 people were killed. In light of the attacks, London announced last week that it would deliver 200 anti-aircraft missiles to Kiev. London-supplied ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missiles are capable of intercepting Russian drones and missiles with “incredible accuracy,” Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said.

Meanwhile, Ankara is blocking the delivery of two mine-clearing ships to Ukraine. The Ankara government announced that it would not allow the two ships donated to Ukraine by the British Navy to pass through its waters to the Black Sea. This violates international agreements on crossing the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, which belong to Turkey, during wartime. Britain announced last month that it would transfer two minesweepers from the Royal Navy to the Ukrainian Navy.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of waging a war of annihilation against Ukraine. “With every missile, Putin shows that he wants to destroy Ukraine,” Baerbock wrote in The Foreign Minister assured that Berlin would continue to support. “We support the people of Ukraine as long as they need us.”