Ukraine war news – live: Kyiv claims up to 400 Russians killed in Donetsk drone strike

American Age Official

Ukraine claimed to have killed as many as 400 Russians in a strike on a military base in an occupied part of Donetsk.

Kyiv’s forces fired at the city of Makiivka and other parts of the Moscow-controlled eastern region on New Year’s Eve.

The Moscow-installed administration of Donetsk said yesterday that at least 25 rockets were fired at the region in the attack.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said as many as 400 Russians were killed – though Russian sources have countered with claims of far less significant losses.

A source close to the Russian-backed leadership in Donetsk tolf Reuters fewer than 100 had been killed, while reports from state media said only 15 people had been injured.

Waves of Russian drone strikes on Ukraine followed into the new year, with missiles overnight targeting infrastructure in Ukraine’s capital and causing some power outages, officials said.

Key Points

  • Drone strikes hit Ukrainian infrastructure, many shot down, say officials

  • Russia and Ukraine grapple for key highway – MoD

  • Ukraine claims 400 Russians killed in Donetsk attack

Russian source counters ‘400 dead’ claim

13:00 , Liam James

A Russian source has counter claims that up to 400 Russians were killed in a Ukrainian attack on Donetsk.

In comments to Reuters, a source close to the Russian-appointed leadership said the New Year’s Eve attack on a military base in the mining town of Makiivka killed dozens of recruits.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said as many as 400 Russians had been killed.

The Donetsk source, who declined to be named, told Reuters: “According to my information, there are fewer than 100 killed so far.”

“What is being reported is greatly exaggerated. Fifty-eight wounded were brought in overnight, which is a lot for a normal day and not much if you believe the information about hundreds of dead. It was a site for mobilised Russian recruits.”

Ukrainian soldier sings lullaby about Russia and drones to newborn child

12:30 , Liam James

Ukraine’s defence ministry shared this clip of a soldier singing a lullaby for his newborn child, who rests atop his guitar.

The team at Independent TV has translated the song in the video below.

Russian strikes on power caused damage but situation under control, says grid operator

12:00 , Liam James

A wave of Russian airstrikes further damaged Ukraine’s battered power grid but the system is under control, Ukraine’s energy operator said.

Ukrainian officials said as many as 40 missiles were fired on Kyiv and surrounding areas overnight but most were shot down.

Ukrenergo, the grid operator, said the strikes caused some power outages in Kyiv and central Ukraine but the effects were not as severe as in recent weeks as people were using less power due to the warmer weather.

A man takes pictures by phone as he rides an electric unicycle past a dark Christmas tree in downtown Kyiv last night (EPA)A man takes pictures by phone as he rides an electric unicycle past a dark Christmas tree in downtown Kyiv last night (EPA)

A man takes pictures by phone as he rides an electric unicycle past a dark Christmas tree in downtown Kyiv last night (EPA)

Russia looks to draw back IT specialists working abroad

11:30 , Liam James

Russia’s buffetted IT sector risks losing more workers in the new year because of planned legislation on remote working, as authorities try to lure back some of the tens of thousands who have gone abroad without prompting them to cut ties completely.

Having relatively portable jobs, IT workers featured prominently among the many Russians who fled after Moscow sent its army into Ukraine and the hundreds of thousands who followed when a military call-up began in September.

The government estimates that 100,000 IT specialists currently work for Russian companies overseas.

Now, legislation is being mooted for early next year that could ban remote working for some professions.

Hawkish lawmakers, fearful that more Russian IT professionals could end up working in Nato countries and inadvertently sharing sensitive security information, have proposed banning some IT specialists from leaving Russia.

But the Digital Ministry said in December that a total ban could make Russian IT firms less effective, and so less competitive: “In the end, whoever can attract the most talented staff, including those from abroad, will win.”

Nato chief calls for more support for Ukraine as Russia launches more missile strikes

11:00 , Liam James

Western countries need to “ramp up” their military support to Ukraine – and be prepared to provide long-term assistance – Nato’s secretary general has said, as Russia began the new year with fresh missile attacks on Kyiv and other cities (Matt Mathers writes).

“Russia has shown no sign of giving up its overall goal of taking control over Ukraine,” Jens Stoltenberg said. “The Ukrainian forces have had the momentum for several months but we also know that Russia has mobilised many more forces. Many of them are now training.

“All that indicates that they are prepared to continue the war and also potentially try to launch a new offensive,” Mr Stoltenberg told BBC Radio 4. “It is a core responsibility for Nato to ensure that we have the stocks, the supplies, the weapons in place to ensure our own deterrence and defence, but also to be able to continue to provide support to Ukraine for the long haul.”

“We need to provide support to Ukraine now, including military support, because that’s the only way to convince Russia that they have to sit down and negotiate in good faith and respect Ukraine as a sovereign independent nation in Europe,” Mr Stoltenberg added.

Nato chief calls for more support for Ukraine as Russia launches more missile strikes

Ukraine claims 400 Russians killed in Donetsk attack

10:30 , Liam James

Ukraine has claimed to have killed as many as 400 Russians in occupied Donetsk.

The Moscow-installed administration of the Donetsk region in Ukraine said on Sunday that at least 25 rockets were fired at the region overnight on New Year’s Eve, with damage hitting the city of Makiivka.

Russia’s Tass state news agency said at least 15 people were injured. Ukraine’s defence ministry said as many as 400 Russians were killed there “as a result of ‘careless handling of heating devices’”.

Igor Girkin, a former commander of pro-Russian troops in east Ukraine who has emerged as one of the highest profile Russian nationalist military bloggers, also said the death toll was in the hundreds. Ammunition had been stored in the building, which detonated when the barracks was hit.

“What happened in Makiivka is horrible,” wrote Archangel Spetznaz Z, another Russian military blogger with more than 700,000 followers on Telegram.

“Who came up with the idea to place personnel in large numbers in one building, where even a fool understands that even if they hit with artillery, there will be many wounded or dead?”

A source close to the Russian-installed Donetsk leadership told Reuters the casualty reports were exaggerated and the death toll appeared to be less than 100.

Five wounded in Russian strike on Kherson, say officials

10:00 , Liam James

A Russian attack on a town in southern Ukraine left five people wounded, three seriously, according to local officials.

Governor of Kherson Yaroslav Yanushevych said shells hit the town of Beryslav on the Dnipro river, some 30 miles east of the regional capital abandoned by Russian forces in November.

He said the shots were presumed to have come from a tank in Kakhovka across the river, where Russian forces remain.

“At this moment, it is known about 5 wounded. Three people are in serious condition. They will be evacuated to Kherson, where doctors will provide the victims with the necessary medical assistance,” he said.

Residents take cover next to a fence after hearing the sound of a military jet in the city of Kherson on 1 January (AFP/Getty)Residents take cover next to a fence after hearing the sound of a military jet in the city of Kherson on 1 January (AFP/Getty)

Residents take cover next to a fence after hearing the sound of a military jet in the city of Kherson on 1 January (AFP/Getty)

Damage to a room of the regional Childrens Hospital after a Russian missile strike in Kherson on New Year’s Eve (AFP/Getty)Damage to a room of the regional Childrens Hospital after a Russian missile strike in Kherson on New Year’s Eve (AFP/Getty)

Damage to a room of the regional Childrens Hospital after a Russian missile strike in Kherson on New Year’s Eve (AFP/Getty)

In 2023, Ukraine may suffer the same fate as Gaza and Syria

09:30 , Liam James

Bel Trew’s latest take on the conflict in Ukraine: So devastating has the conflict been, sparking Europe’s worst refugee and humanitarian crisis, that it has unfortunately eclipsed other world catastrophes and other wars. The global spotlight has been on the extraordinary scenes captured in now iconic images and words.

But as a bitter artillery war sets in, as the lines become entrenched, as bloody battles drag on with perhaps increasingly little gains, my fear is that after that anniversary of Russia’s invasion next month, fatigue will ultimately set in. This is what Putin is banking on. And it will be the job of journalists and aid workers alike to keep the story alive and relevant.

To a certain extent, fatigue has already set in. As with so many conflicts I’ve covered, capturing world attention feels like an hourglass. Syria, a conflict that has dragged on for a gruelling 12 years, is so little talked about on global news platforms that I am regularly asked if the war is over. Few would have a clue what the status is of the government of Libya, a country wracked by a similarly long war.

In 2023, Ukraine may suffer the same fate as Gaza and Syria | Bel Trew

Russia and Ukraine grapple for key highway – MoD

09:00 , Liam James

Tension over a key road route for Russian supplies seems to have boiled over in recent days, Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Fighting over the P66 near Kremina follows reports from Ukrainian officials that Russia was moving large quantities of troops and equipment into the northwestern area of Luhansk.

On Monday, in an update on the Ukraine war the MoD said: “Over the last five days, Russian and Ukrainian forces have probably been fighting for control of the P66 highway, north of the Russian-held Luhansk Oblast town of Kremina.

“The P66 is a key supply route for the northern section of Russia’s Donbas front from the Belgorod region of Russia.

“Its use has been disrupted by Ukrainian artillery since October, but if Ukraine were able to secure the route, if would highly likely further undermine Russia’s defence of Kremina.”

Shot-down Russian drone causes damage in Kyiv

08:40 , Liam James

Debris from a destroyed drone over Kyiv early on Monday hit the capital’s northeastern district, wounding one, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

A 19-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Kyiv’s Desniansky district, Mr Klitschko said on Telegram, after drone debris hit a road there and damaged a building.

Air raid sirens were announced just before midnight for Kyiv and most of eastern Ukraine, and were still wailing two hours later.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Ukrainian presidential aide, said drone debris hit a road in the Desniansky district, in Kyiv;s northeast, damaging a building next to it.

Damage to a school in Kyiv from strikes on 31 December (AFP/Getty)Damage to a school in Kyiv from strikes on 31 December (AFP/Getty)

Damage to a school in Kyiv from strikes on 31 December (AFP/Getty)

Ukraine strike hit Russian energy infrastructure, says official

08:20 , Liam James

A Ukrainian drone attack damaged a power supply facility in Russia’s Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, according to the regional governor.

“A Ukrainian drone attack was carried out this morning on the Klimovsky district,” Governor Alexander Bogomaz said on Telegram, adding that there were no casualties.

“All emergency services are on site. As a result of the strike, the power supply facility was damaged, and there is no electricity.”

Earlier Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory have targeted military infrastructure. Kremlin officials blamed Ukraine for attacks last month on Russian airfields but Kyiv did not claim responsibility.

Drone strikes hit Ukrainian infrastructure, many shot down, say officials

08:01 , Liam James

Russia has deployed multiple drones overnight to attack parts of Ukraine and dozens were shot down, Ukrainian officials said.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Monday morning that 40 exploding drones “headed for Kyiv” overnight, according to air defence forces, and all were destroyed.

He said 22 drones were destroyed over Kyiv, three in the outlying region and 15 over neighbouring provinces.

An infrastructure facility in the capital was damaged and an explosion occurred in one city district, the mayor said. It was not immediately clear whether that was caused by drones or other munitions.

In the larger Kyiv region, a “critical infrastructure object” and residential buildings were hit, governor Oleksy Kuleba said.

Seven drones were shot down over the southern Mykolaiv region, according to governor Vitali Kim, and three more were shot down in the south-eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.

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