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Russia launched 90 drone attacks in Ukraine in early hours of new year

Russia launched 90 drone attacks in Ukraine in early hours of new year

Russia launched a record 90 Shahed-type drones over Ukraine during the early hours of the new year, the Ukrainian air force said on Monday, while Russia also reported Ukrainian attacks.

A 15-year-old boy was killed and seven people wounded after falling debris from one of 87 downed drones hit a residential building in the city of Odesa, the head of the region’s military administration, Oleh Kiper, said. Debris also caused a number of small fires, including at the city’s port.

In the western city of Lviv, Russian attacks severely damaged a museum dedicated to Roman Shukhevych, a Ukrainian nationalist and military commander who fought for Ukrainian independence during the second world war. University buildings in the town of Dubliany were also damaged, although no casualties were reported.

Writing on social media, the Lviv mayor, Andriy Sadovyi, described the strike as “symbolic and cynical”, adding “this is a war for our history”.

Meanwhile, four people were killed and 13 more wounded after Ukrainian shelling on Russian-occupied areas of Donetsk, according to the area’s Russian-installed leader, Denis Pushilin. Russian state media reported that a journalist was among the victims, but provided no further details.

One person was also killed and another wounded in shelling on the Russian border town of Shebekino, the regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

The aerial strikes follow a series of heavy aerial bombardments that began on Friday, when Russia unleashed an 18-hour attack that one air force official described as the biggest aerial barrage of the war.

At least 49 people were killed in the bombardment, with rescuers in Kyiv reporting on Monday that they had recovered at least eight more bodies from underneath the rubble.

Shelling attributed to Ukraine in the centre of the Russian border city of Belgorod on Saturday killed 21 people, including three children, local officials reported.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said on Monday that the Belgorod strikes were “a terrorist act” that would not go unpunished and promised more strikes on Ukrainian targets.

Putin said that Russia would continue to strike “sensitive” military targets in Ukraine. Russia denies western and Ukrainian accusations that it targets civilian infrastructure.

In a wide-ranging conversation with the servicemen, Putin said that the course of the war in Ukraine was changing in Russia’s favour, and that Moscow hoped to end the war, but only on its own terms. Putin’s traditional new year address delivered on Sunday made only a passing reference to the war in Ukraine, a sharp contrast to last year’s speech.

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