Moscow announced on Sunday that it had attacked military bases in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv last night in retaliation for Ukrainian attacks on Belgorod. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would never back down. The ongoing war in Ukraine.
Targets of the Russian attack included a hotel where military leaders were staying and what it described as “foreign mercenaries” and the headquarters of the Ukrainian Security Service for the Kharkiv region.
Russia said that Ukrainian military and intelligence officers killed in the Ukrainian offensive on Belgorod were in addition to “foreign and armed mercenaries” preparing to carry out cross-border attacks.
Meanwhile, Kharkiv officials said at least six missiles hit the city, injuring at least 28 people and damaging residential buildings, hotels and medical facilities, followed by a wave of drone strikes on residential buildings.
Authorities in the Kirovohradska region in central Ukraine said the Russian attack damaged power lines and a non-residential building.
The death toll from the Ukrainian attack on Ukraine's northern border with Belgorod rose to 24, and it also left 108 injured and damaged 37 residential buildings.
Ukraine, for its part, said the attack on Belgorod was in response to Russia's massive bombing of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure across the country the previous day.
Putin's annual speech
In the Russian president's New Year's address, Putin said his country would never back down from the ongoing war in Ukraine.
He said that the Russian army takes on the most difficult tasks and has repeatedly proved that it defends national interests, Russia's independence and its values.
Putin declared that next year would be “the year of the family”, in contrast to last year's appearance when he was surrounded by soldiers in military uniform.
The Russian president promised victory to his citizens in Ukraine.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”