Russians send sick New Year message to Ukrainians on ‘Kamikaze drone’

Sick Russian soldiers scrawled "Happy New Year" on a kamikaze drone before dropping it on civilians in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv on New Year's Eve.

The Mirror reported that Celebrations did not halt Vladimir Putin's war machine as desperate missile strikes brought in the new year.

Hundreds of Ukrainians braved the bombardment as an 11pm curfew was observed in some areas, gathering the streets as Russian forces tried to drive down the nation's morale.

Kyiv's Chief of Police Andriy Nebytov shared an image on Telegram of one of the missiles that struck overnight. On it a Russian airman had emblazoned the words "Happy New Year!!!".

Nebytov added: "These wreckage are not at the front, where fierce battles are taking place, they are here, on a sports grounds, where children play."

Ukraine's Air Force said it had blasted 45 Iranian Shahed drones out of the sky. There was one reported fatality on New Year's Eve with several more people injured.

For several hours before curfew, Ukrainians swarmed the streets as they waved their flag in front of a massive Christmas tree adorned with the country's blue and yellow.

As the clock struck 12, people could be heard yelling "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes" out of their windows.

In one piece of footage, a group of Ukrainians could be heard singing the national anthem as Putin's missiles continue to pummel their city.

Bridget Brink, the US Ambassador to Ukraine, said Russia had acted "cold and cowardly" by unleashing the missiles "in the early hours of new year".

She wrote on Twitter: "Putin still does not seem to understand that Ukrainians are made of iron.

Last night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy published a video address saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "hiding behind the military, behind missiles, behind the walls of his residences and palaces."

Addressing the Russians, he added that "no one in the world will forgive you for this. Ukraine will not forgive."

Kyiv was not the only target of Putin's spiteful attack.

Defence chiefs said 31 missiles and 12 air strikes had rained down on Ukraine in the day between New Year's Eve and this morning.

Before the clock chimed, multiple blasts rocked Kyiv – killing at least one and wounding 14 more.

It is a clear indication that Russian attacks picked up before, during and into the New Year.

Some Ukrainians defied the danger, however, to return to the country to reunite with families for the holidays.

Ukrainian officials yesterday said Russia was now deliberately targeting civilians, seeking to create a climate of fear to see out the year grimly and usher in a bloody 2023.

First lady Olena Zelenska expressed outrage that such massive missile attacks could come just before New Year's Eve celebrations.

"Ruining lives of others is a disgusting habit of our neighbors," she said.

The blasts also came at an unusually quickened rhythm, one that alarmed officials just 36 hours after Russia launched a barrage of missiles on Thursday to damage energy infrastructure facilities.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba highlighted the harsh civilian toll of this latest offensive – that "this time, Russia's mass missile attack is deliberately targeting residential areas, not even the energy infrastructure."

The deadly blast in the Ukrainian capital occurred among the multi-story residential buildings of the Solomianskyi district.

An AP photographer at the scene of the explosions saw the body of a dead woman as her husband and son stood nearby. Among the injured taken to hospital was an older woman. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said two schools were also damaged, including a kindergarten.

Various residential buildings and civilian infrastructure were damaged in Kyiv on Saturday afternoon as part of massive attacks spanning the country. A top official in the president's office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, published photos and video of a partially collapsed six-story hotel in Kyiv. Klitschko said a Japanese journalist was among those injured in the capital.

Russia launched 20 cruise missiles over Ukraine on Saturday afternoon, of which Ukrainian forces shot down 12, according to Ukrainian military chief Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

At least four civilians were wounded in the Khmelnytskyi province of western Ukraine, according to regional Gov. Serhii Hamalii. Six people were wounded in the southern region of Mykolaiv.

Mykolaiv Gov. Vitalii Kim said that the Russians were targeting civilians more directly than just by attacking infrastructure as in the past.

"In many cities residential areas, hotels, just roads and garages are affected," he wrote on Telegram.

In Zaporizhzhia region, as a result of a missile attack, two houses were destroyed, and around eight damaged. Four people were also wounded, among them a pregnant woman and a 14-year-old girl, said regional Gov. Oleksandr Starukh.

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