The New Year begins with Russian airstrikes and shelling

The new year began with massive airstrikes and artillery strikes in Ukraine. Russian shelling hit the Black Sea cities of Odessa and Mykolaiv overnight, Ukrainian officials announced. One person died in Odessa, according to Governor Oleg Kiper. Russian occupiers have reported massive artillery fire in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Harlivka, killing four people.

According to Kipper, several buildings in the port city were hit by parts of “fallen drones”. Fire broke out in residential buildings in different parts of the city. Three others were injured. In Donetsk, Russia-appointed regional administrator Denis Bushilin said four people were killed and 13 wounded. Ukrainian media also reported explosions in Kiev, Kherson and Kharkiv. New Year's Eve explosions of rockets and firecrackers cause unrest, although these are actually prohibited during wartime.

Zelensky: “Ukrainians have become stronger”

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Selensky Meanwhile, he emphasized his country's strength in his New Year speech. “The most important result of the year, his biggest achievement: Ukraine has become stronger. Ukrainians have become stronger,” Zelensky said Sunday in a 20-minute video message from his office in Kyiv. “When the beginning of 2023 … without exaggeration, we survived the harshest winter in history. When we proved that Ukrainians are tougher than cold and darkness. Stronger than the threat of blackouts and blackouts.” Ukrainians are stronger “than all blockades and vetoes, than all distrust and doubt.”

In his speech, Zelensky highlighted as successes the opening of EU accession negotiations, the establishment of a corridor for grain deliveries on the Black Sea and a total of 156 military support packages for his country in the past year. Also, Ukrainian pilots have already mastered F-16 fighter jets, “We will definitely see them in the air, so that the enemy will feel our true wrath. Next year the enemy will also face the wrath of domestic (weapons) production. Sense.”

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Asked whether the Ukrainian army had enough troops, he called on “those who are still hesitant to make a bold decision to defend, work and help their own country next year.”

Zelensky's message contained little direct reference to the situation on the 1,000-kilometer front line or to the counteroffensive that began in June, which has not brought huge success. He did not mention the political and diplomatic complications of securing more military and other aid from both the US Congress and the European Union. “Just like last December 31st, we say today: “We never know what the New Year will bring us.” But this year we can add: 'Whatever happens, we will be strong.

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