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First responders working to free a man from the rubble following a Russian strike in Kharkiv. December 29, 2023.

Russia launches massive drone and missile strike across Ukraine, killing and wounding civilians

Source: Meduza
First responders working to free a man from the rubble following a Russian strike in Kharkiv. December 29, 2023.
First responders working to free a man from the rubble following a Russian strike in Kharkiv. December 29, 2023.
State Emergency Service Of Ukraine / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA

Early in the morning on December 29, the Russian army launched a massive wave of strikes on Ukraine, using Shahed drones as well as cruise and anti-aircraft missiles. According to the latest reports, at least 39 people have been killed and over 150 injured in the attack.

Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said that Russian troops used various types of missiles in the strike, including Kinzhal missiles, ballistic, anti-aircraft, and cruise missiles, as well as drones. “We have never seen so many targets simultaneously on our monitor,” Ihnat said. According to him, Russia used 18 strategic bombers in the attack.


According to Kyiv City Military Administration Head Serhiy Popko, a residential building in Kyiv's Shevchenkivskyi district was damaged, and the garage area caught on fire. The Lukianivska metro station was damaged, said Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. He also stated that warehouses in the Shevchenkivskyi district were hit, and a body was pulled from the rubble.

Other fires also broke out across the city as a result of the strikes. In Kyiv’s Podilskyi district, a fire in warehouses covering an area of 3,000 square meters (32,292 square feet) led to “many injured people,” according to Popko. Another person in Kyiv was injured after three parked cars ignited.

A video posted online allegedly shows a strike on a residential building in Kyiv (it’s unknown where the video was filmed). According to preliminary reports, at least five people were killed and at least 30 people injured in Kyiv.

Ukraine’s Internal Affairs Ministry published photos reportedly showing the aftermath of the strike on Kyiv.

A missile explodes above Kyiv
Gleb Garanich / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA
Kyiv after a Russian missile strike
Gleb Garanich / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA
A warehouse in Kyiv damaged by a missile
Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA


Kharkiv was hit by three waves of missile attacks, reported Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov. Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov said that about 20 missiles were launched at the city during the night and morning. He reported that three people were killed and 13 were injured as a result of the shelling. The Russian attack destroyed or damaged residential buildings, a school, a post office, warehouses, industrial buildings, a transport depot, and businesses. The roof and windows of a medical building were damaged by a blast wave. The shelling also caused problems with the electricity supply for public transport in the city.

Yakiv Liashenko / EPA / Scanpix / LETA
First responders at work at the site of a strike in Kharkiv. December 29, 2023.
State Emergency Service of Ukraine / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA


In Dnipro, according to Ukrainian media, a shopping center caught fire after a missile strike. A video, allegedly taken near the shopping center, shows the body of a dead or injured person. The Health Ministry reported that a fire broke out in one of the maternity hospitals. “As a result of the strike, the medical building was significantly damaged. All patients and medical staff managed to move to a shelter,” the ministry said. Dnipro Mayor Borys Filatov reported that there were dead and injured in the wake of the shelling. Serhiy Lysak, the region’s governor, said that six people died and 28 were injured. According to Lysak, in addition to the shopping center and maternity hospital, a private residential house and a six-story building were damaged.

A shopping center in Dnipro, partially destroyed by a missile strike
Arsen Dzodzaiev / EPA / Scanpix / LETA
Dnipro residents near the damaged shopping center
Arsen Dzodzaiev / EPA / Scanpix / LETA
A residential neighborhood in Dnipro, damaged in the attack
Arsen Dzodzaiev / EPA / Scanpix / LETA


Throughout the night, Russian forces launched at least 14 Shahed drones at the Lviv region, according to Lviv Governor Maxim Kozitsky. He reported that eight drones had been shot down.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said the shelling caused a fire at a critical infrastructure facility. A residential building was also hit, killing one person and injuring three, Kozitsky said. A fire broke out in one of the city's schools, presumably caused by falling debris. Three more schools and a kindergarten were also damaged and a business was struck.

In total, the attack on Lviv killed one and injured 30. Many of those who suffered injuries were wounded by window shards blown out of residential buildings by the blast wave.

An apartment building in Lviv after the attack, December 29, 2023
Andriy Sadovyi
A school in Lviv, damaged in the attack


In Odesa, debris from a downed drone fell on a multi-story building, causing a fire, according to Odesa governor Oleh Kiper. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service reported that no one was injured as a result of the incident. A fire also broke out in a shuttered infrastructure building, according to Ukraine’s Defense Forces South. The Health Ministry reported that one person died and seven were injured as a result of a strike on a school in Odesa.

Kiper later said that four people were killed and 26 were injured in the attack on Odesa. Two of the injured are reportedly in critical condition.

Artem Perfilov / AP / Scanpix / LETA
Sergey Smolentsev / Reuters / Scanpix / LETA


Ukrainian media also reported explosions in Zaporizhzhia. The region's governor, Yuriy Malashko, said that several establishments in the city were targeted. He stated that one of the missiles hit an open area, while another destroyed a private house. The blast wave and debris damaged multi-story buildings. According to the latest information, seven locals were killed and 13 people were injured.

The aftermath of a missile strike in Zaporizhzhia
Reuters / Scanpix / LETA
Reuters / Scanpix / LETA
Andriy Andriyenko / AP / Scanpix / LETA


A missile strike on Konotop in Ukraine’s Sumy region injured three, according to the regional administration. Shelling there damaged an apartment building and a car service station. One car caught fire.

Zelensky’s response

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian forces fired about 110 missiles of various types, with the majority being intercepted by Ukrainian air defense systems. "A maternity hospital, educational institutions, a shopping center, multi-story buildings and private houses, a commercial warehouse, a parking lot. Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and other Ukrainian cities. Today, Russia used almost everything in its arsenal: Kinzhals, S-300s, cruise missiles, UAVs. Strategic bombers launched X-101/X-505 missiles,” Zelensky said. The president stated that Ukraine “will certainly retaliate against the terrorists for their attacks.”

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