Air raid sirens are sounding across Ukrainian cities as Vladimir Putin’s troops target the war-torn country on the last day of 2022.
At least one person is said to be dead and 20 injured in Kyiv where at least 10 blasts have been reported.
A hotel is among buildings to have been damaged in the latest bombardment.
Explosions have also been reported in Mykolaiv, in the south of the country, and Khmelnytskyi, in the west.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky had cautioned that Russia could launch more attacks to make Ukrainian people ‘celebrate the New Year in darkness’.
‘The occupiers have decided to try to spoil the day for us’, Mykolaiv Governor Vitaly Kim said on Facebook.
Writing on Telegram, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko added: ‘The buildings of two schools in the Solomyansk district of the capital, one in Pechersk, suffered varying degrees of damage.
‘There is one kindergarten in the Solomyan district. There are no casualties at these facilities.
‘As a result of the Russian attack on civilian objects in the capital, one person died, 20 were injured. 14 victims were hospitalised, six were treated by medics on the spot.’
In his nightly address on Friday, President Zelensky said: ‘There are two days left in this year. Perhaps, the enemy will try once again to make us celebrate the New Year in darkness.
‘Perhaps, the occupiers are planning to make us suffer with the next strikes at our cities.
‘But no matter what they plan, we know one thing about ourselves: we will survive. We will. We will drive them out.
‘No doubt about it. And they will be punished for this terrible war.’
The fresh bout of violence came as Putin used a New Year’s TV message to claim his country will ‘never give in to the West’s attempts to use Ukraine as a tool to destroy Russia’.
Ten months after sending in soldiers to attack Ukraine, the president claimed his nation was fighting to protect its ‘motherland’ and to secure ‘true independence’.
State-run news agencies quoted Putin as saying ‘the West lied about peace and it was preparing for aggression… and now they are cynically using Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia’.
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