Russian Missile Attack on Kyiv Wounds 53 as Ukraine Pleads for European Support
December 15, 2023 | by b1og.net
In a brazen attack, Russia launched a barrage of missiles on Kyiv, resulting in at least 53 wounded individuals. Despite Ukraine’s pleas for more military support from Europe, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent trip to Washington yielded no new commitments. The attack serves to highlight the ongoing threat from Russia’s formidable missile arsenal in the prolonged conflict. As Ukraine faces dwindling supplies of air defense munitions and ammunition, the prospects of a harsh winter bombardment on its power grid loom large. With troop movements hindered, long-range air bombardment poses an increasing danger. President Zelenskyy’s meetings with Nordic leaders in Oslo and a potential attendance at a European Union summit in Brussels demonstrate his efforts to secure backing for Ukraine. Meanwhile, a hacktivist group claimed responsibility for a major cyberattack on Ukrainian internet and cell phone provider Kyivstar. The situation continues to escalate, posing significant challenges as Ukraine seeks support to counter Russian aggression.
A Russian missile attack on Kyiv wounds at least 53 as Ukraine pleads for more European support
A barrage of Russian missiles has targeted Kyiv and wounded at least 53 people, officials said, as the Ukrainian president seeks more military support in Europe after a trip to Washington secured no new pledges.
Loud explosions rocked Ukraine’s capital at 3 a.m. as the city’s air defenses were activated for the second time this week. Ukraine’s air force said Russia launched 10 ballistic missiles toward Kyiv and all were intercepted by air defenses, but their debris struck homes and a children’s hospital.
The attack underscored the continuing threat to Ukraine from the Kremlin’s missile arsenal in the 21-month war. Russia has been stockpiling its air-launched cruise missiles from its heavy bomber fleet, according to a recent assessment by the U.K. Ministry of Defense.
That may herald another heavy winter bombardment of Ukraine’s power grid. Moscow last year targeted energy infrastructure in an effort to deny Ukrainians heat, light, and running water and break their fighting spirit.
As winter sets in and hinders troop movements, allowing little change along the front line, long-range air bombardment plays a growing role.
Ukraine has dwindling supplies of air defense munitions and other ammunition. That prompted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to visit Washington on Tuesday in an effort to persuade lawmakers to approve President Joe Biden’s request for $61.4 billion for Ukraine. His trip accomplished no breakthrough.
Zelenskyy said on Telegram that he and Biden agreed to work on increasing the number of air defense systems in Ukraine. “The terrorist state has just demonstrated how crucial this decision is,” Zelenskyy said, referring to the overnight strikes.
On Wednesday, he met in Oslo with Nordic leaders who feel keenly the potential threat from nearby Russia and are among Kyiv’s staunchest supporters.
Zelenskyy may also attend a European Union summit on Thursday in Brussels, where the continent’s leaders are expected to discuss their backing for Ukraine. Officials did not confirm such a trip.
“Russia is eager to exploit divisions,” the senior leaders from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden said in a joint statement in Oslo. “We must continue to stand united against Russia’s illegal and immoral war.”
They vowed “comprehensive assistance” for Ukraine. “Now is not the time to tire,” the Nordic leaders said, amid signs of war fatigue among Kyiv’s foreign supporters.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said her government will unveil a Ukraine support package of almost 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) this week. Norway announced it will give additional air defenses to Ukraine, taking them from its own stocks to ensure speedy delivery.
Separately, Latvia and Ukraine announced an agreement on the production of drones, a key part of the war.
In the overnight missile attack, debris from the intercepted weapons fell in Kyiv’s eastern Dniprovskyi district, injuring dozens of people, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Kitschko said on Telegram. Twenty people, including two children, were hospitalized, and 33 people received medical treatment on the spot.
An apartment building, a private house, and several cars caught fire, while the windows of a children’s hospital were shattered, Klitschko said. Falling rocket debris also damaged the water supply system in the district.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, 10 Russian drones were shot down, most of them in the Odesa region, the Ukrainian air force said.
In other developments, a “hacktivist” group called SoIntsepek claimed responsibility for a major cyberattack Tuesday against Ukrainian internet and cell phone provider Kyivstar, which serves more than 24 million mobile customers across the country.
The Google-owned U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant said SoIntsepek regularly claims credit for the activity of the Russian hacking team known as Sandworm, part of the GRU military intelligence agency. “The persona was probably fabricated by the GRU to launder their operations publicly,” Mandiant threat analyst John Hultquist said in an emailed statement, adding that Sandworm is responsible for “most major disruptive cyberattacks we know about.”
A Kyivstar spokeswoman said the company hoped to restore all service by the end of Wednesday, but the network integrity company Kentik Inc. said only a fraction had been restored by the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a report that Russian forces this year have “continued to use explosive weapons with wide area effects in their attacks on densely populated urban areas of Ukraine … both in areas close to heavy fighting and in cities far from the contact line.”
The governmental organization added in the report published Wednesday that Ukrainian armed forces, though on a much smaller scale, also shelled populated areas of Ukraine that are occupied by Russia, causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.
Ukrainian Armed Forces Shell Russia-Occupied Areas in Ukraine
Despite the ongoing aggression from Russia, Ukrainian armed forces have also retaliated by shelling areas occupied by Russian troops. This has resulted in civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure in these areas. The use of explosive weapons in densely-populated urban areas has been a common tactic employed by both sides in the conflict. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has documented these incidents in a report published on Wednesday. The report highlights the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and the protection of civilian lives.
Nordic Leaders Express Solidarity with Ukraine
In an effort to show their support for Ukraine, senior leaders from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Oslo. These Nordic countries have been among Kyiv’s staunchest supporters throughout the conflict with Russia. In a joint statement, the leaders condemned Russia’s actions and emphasized the importance of standing united against Russia’s illegal and immoral war. They also pledged comprehensive assistance to Ukraine and expressed their commitment to continue supporting the country in its fight for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Denmark Unveils Ukraine Support Package
Denmark’s Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, announced that her government will unveil a support package for Ukraine worth almost 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion). The package is aimed at providing Ukraine with the necessary resources to defend itself against Russian aggression. It is expected to include financial aid, military equipment, and humanitarian assistance. Denmark’s support for Ukraine demonstrates the country’s commitment to upholding the principles of international law and standing up against Russian aggression.
Norway Provides Additional Air Defenses to Ukraine
In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, Norway has announced that it will provide additional air defense systems to the country. The air defenses will be taken from Norway’s own stocks to ensure speedy delivery. The move is part of Norway’s ongoing support for Ukraine and its efforts to defend itself against Russian aggression. By providing Ukraine with additional air defenses, Norway is helping to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to protect its airspace and deter further Russian aggression.
Latvia and Ukraine Reach Agreement on Drone Production
Latvia and Ukraine have reached an agreement on the production of drones, which are a key part of the ongoing conflict with Russia. The agreement will enable Ukraine to enhance its capabilities in surveillance and reconnaissance, allowing for better situational awareness and response to Russian military activities. The collaboration between Latvia and Ukraine in drone production highlights the importance of international partnerships in addressing security challenges and supporting the defense capabilities of Ukraine.
Russian Drones Shot Down by Ukrainian Air Force
As tensions continue to escalate between Ukraine and Russia, the Ukrainian air force has successfully shot down 10 Russian drones, most of them in the Odesa region. The drones were likely being used for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes by Russian forces. By intercepting and neutralizing these drones, the Ukrainian air force has demonstrated its commitment to defending Ukraine’s airspace and countering Russian aggression.
SoIntsepek Claims Responsibility for Cyberattack on Kyivstar
A “hacktivist” group called SoIntsepek has claimed responsibility for a major cyberattack on Kyivstar, Ukraine’s internet and cell phone provider. The cyberattack targeted the company’s infrastructure, causing disruptions in service for more than 24 million mobile customers across the country. SoIntsepek is known to regularly claim credit for the activities of the Russian hacking team known as Sandworm, which is believed to be part of the GRU military intelligence agency. The cyberattack highlights the ongoing cyber warfare between Russia and Ukraine and the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures to protect critical infrastructure.
Sandworm Identified as Responsible for Cyberattack
The U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant has identified the Russian hacking team known as Sandworm as responsible for the recent cyberattack on Kyivstar. Sandworm, which is part of the GRU military intelligence agency, has been behind many major disruptive cyberattacks in recent years. The group’s activities are known for their destructive nature and ability to cause widespread disruptions to critical infrastructure. The cyberattack on Kyivstar underscores the ongoing threat posed by state-sponsored hacking groups and the need for robust cybersecurity measures to protect against such attacks.
OSCE Report on Use of Explosive Weapons by Russian and Ukrainian Forces
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has published a report documenting the use of explosive weapons by both Russian and Ukrainian forces in the ongoing conflict. The report highlights the indiscriminate nature of such weapons and their devastating impact on civilian populations. According to the report, Russian forces have continued to use explosive weapons with wide area effects in attacks on densely populated urban areas of Ukraine. Ukrainian armed forces, though on a much smaller scale, have also been involved in shelling populated areas occupied by Russia. The report calls for an end to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and emphasizes the need to protect civilian lives and infrastructure.
Continued Use of Explosive Weapons in Attacks on Populated Areas
The OSCE report highlights the continued use of explosive weapons in attacks on populated areas by both Russian and Ukrainian forces. The use of such weapons in densely populated urban areas has resulted in civilian casualties and widespread damage to infrastructure. The indiscriminate nature of these attacks poses a serious threat to the lives and well-being of civilians caught in the crossfire. The report emphasizes the need for all parties involved in the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law and protect civilian lives and infrastructure.
Civilian Casualties and Damage to Infrastructure
The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has resulted in significant civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure. The use of explosive weapons, including missiles and artillery, has caused widespread destruction and loss of life in populated areas. The recent missile attack on Kyiv, which wounded at least 53 people, is a tragic example of the toll this conflict has taken on civilians. The destruction of homes, hospitals, and vital infrastructure such as water supply systems further exacerbates the humanitarian crisis in the region. The international community must continue to support Ukraine and work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict to protect civilian lives and rebuild the damaged infrastructure.
In conclusion, the recent missile attack on Kyiv highlights the ongoing threat to Ukraine from Russia’s missile arsenal. As Ukraine seeks more military support in Europe, the importance of increasing air defense systems and strengthening the country’s defense capabilities is evident. The support from Nordic leaders, the announcement of a support package by Denmark, and the provision of additional air defenses by Norway are positive steps towards bolstering Ukraine’s security. However, the use of explosive weapons in attacks on populated areas and the cyber warfare tactics employed by Russia underscore the need for continued international assistance and robust cybersecurity measures. The international community must stand united against Russia’s aggression and work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict to protect civilian lives and ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.