The sky over the Russian city of Astrakhan on the Black Sea I full of vapour trails of dozens of missiles on their way to strike Ukrainian cities on New Year’s Eve.
“Kyiv, stay the f****ck in shelters!!!” Roman Motychak the founder of Ukrfinformum tweeted to warn other locals shortly after the attack started.
Reports from across the country came in via social media in what appears to be the biggest barrage of Russian missiles set since the bombardment began on October 10.
The latest attack come only a day after Russia sent some 120 missiles against Ukraine on December 30 – its biggest strike today – as the Kremlin appears determined to plunge the entire country into darkness on what is the biggest holiday of the year in Eastern Europe. The whole country was under air raid alert as of midday local time.
At the time of writing it appears that the air defence system in Kyiv was working well. Locals reported by social media that there was continuous loud explosions, but as of the time of writing several missiles made it through the capital’s increasingly effect missile defence system and struck the centre of the city.
Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitschko reported on social media there were explosions in the Solomianska, Pechersk and Holosiivsk districts in the capital. “There is destruction. Rescuers and medics are on their way,” Klitschko wrote.
“Air defences have been working pretty non-stop for the past five minutes in Kyiv. I don’t think there have been any impacts so far, but it’s only the first wave of missiles. And other cities not so lucky,” Oliver Carroll, the Economist correspondent in Kyiv said in a tweet.
Ukraine’s air missile alert system warned locals to get to bunkers while the onslaught was ongoing. There were reports on social media that multiple cities have been hit.