Ukraine Latest: Russia Launches Drone Attacks on New Year’s Day

(Bloomberg) -- Russia launched a barrage of drone attacks shortly before midnight on New Year’s Day, as sirens went off in southern, eastern, central and northern regions of Ukraine. Loud explosions were heard in the capital Kyiv, including downtown. Ukraine’s air defense forces said they shot down 45 drones the night before.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Russia and Ukraine carried out a prisoner swap on Saturday that saw 140 Ukrainians returned to the country for 82 Russians. Such prisoner swaps have been carried out periodically during the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on New Year’s Day that Russians were “afraid. And they are right to be afraid because they are losing. Drones, missiles, nothing else can help them.”

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • Why Belarus Is in Lockstep With Russia Over Ukraine: QuickTake

  • Putin, Xi Hold Talks as Russia Struggles With War in Ukraine

  • Germany’s Scholz Tells Citizens They Need to Keep Saving Energy

  • Putin Eases Rubles-Only Requirement for Foreign Gas Purchasers

On the Ground

Loud explosions were heard in around Kyiv, including downtown, as Russia launched almost 30 Iranian-made Shahed drones, hitting infrastructure, Ukraine’s military said. At least 7 people were hospitalized and 1 died in the western region of Khmelnytskyi after Russia’s missile attack damaged 8 vehicles, 13 residential houses, and a fuel station. Russia also attacked the port of Ochakiv in the southern Mykolaiv region, damaging residential houses and a company, according to a military update.

(All times CET)

Russia Launches Drones; Sirens Go Off Across Ukraine (12:17 a.m.)

Russia launched a barrage of drone attacks shortly before midnight on New Year’s Day, as sirens went off in southern, eastern, central and northern regions of Ukraine. Loud explosions were heard in the capital Kyiv, including downtown. The capital region’s air-defense system responded to the attacks, local authorities said on Telegram.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram one person was wounded. He did not provide details.

Russia launched a massive missile attack on Dec. 31, followed by drone attacks, as Ukrainians were celebrating the New Year, damaging residential houses, schools, private cars and university buildings. “Russian terrorists were pathetic, and they entered this year staying the same,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his daily video address to the nation, praising the air defense forces for shooting down 45 drones the night before.

Russians, he said, are “afraid. And they are right to be afraid because they are losing. Drones, missiles, nothing else can help them.”

Finland’s President Sees NATO Accession in 2023 (11:40 a.m.)

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he has “reason to believe” that his nation’s accession to the NATO military alliance “will become reality in the course of this year,” according to a televised New Year’s address.

“Even in the future, Finland will bear the main responsibility for defending its own territory,” Niinisto said. “Our membership will also strengthen the deterrence of NATO as a whole.”

Kyiv Mayor Asks Germany for Tanks (9:30 a.m.)

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko called on Germany to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, in a guest editorial in Germany’s Bild newspaper.

“We are hoping for more aid in 2023. It will be crucial for Germany to finally deliver Leopard 2 tanks,” Klitschko wrote. “Without this type of tank, it will be very difficult to recapture further territory in Ukraine.” He also thanked Germany for the Iris-T air-defense missile system “that means our civil infrastructure isn’t fully destroyed.”

Turkey, Syria, Russia to Hold New Talks (9 a.m.)

Foreign ministers from Russia, Syria and Turkey will meet in the second half of January after last week holding the highest-level gathering since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said late on Saturday that he had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss the timing and venue of the next meeting, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.