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Russia launches overnight air assault targeting Kyiv

Russia launched a fresh bombardment on Ukrainian regions in the hours leading into New Year’s Eve, Ukrainian officials said, targeting Kyiv and inflicting damage on residential areas of the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Ukraine’s air defence systems in the region surrounding Kyiv were engaged late on Saturday in repelling Russia’s drone attack, the military administration of the region said.

The scale or potential damage of the attack was not immediately clear.

In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city where twin Russian missile strikes on Saturday injured at least 21 people, a fresh drone attack hit residential buildings in the city centre, spouting fires, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said.

“All relevant emergency services are already on the site,” Mr Terekhov said in a message.

“Information about potential casualties is being clarified.”

The last week of 2023 has seen increased attacks by both sides, with Russia killing at least 31 civilians in its biggest air assault of war on Ukraine on Friday, and 20 people killed as a result of Ukraine’s attack on the Russian provincial capital of Belgorod.

Russia earlier accused Ukraine of carrying out a “deliberate, indiscriminate attack” on civilians in the city of Belgorod with the Russian defence ministry warning that the strike would “not go unpunished

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