Russia will be held responsible for every strike on Ukraine, says Zelensky

‘On the eve of the New Year, the Russians want to intimidate our city,’ Kharkiv mayor says

Stuti Mishra
Sunday 31 December 2023 06:35

Explosions seen in Crimea port town as Ukraine air force damages Russian ship

Russia will be held responsible for every strike on Ukraine’s cities, Volodymyr Zelensky said after Moscow launched its biggest aerial attack of the war so far killing at least 31 Ukrainians.

“For every Shahed drone, for every Russian missile, there will be a fair responsibility of the terrorist state, both political and very practical,” Mr Zelensky said on Saturday.

He also said that Ukraine is preparing to produce more weapons in 2024.

Russia launched a fresh bombardment on Kyiv and Kharkiv in the hours leading into New Year’s Eve, Ukrainian officials said.

“On the eve of the New Year, the Russians want to intimidate our city, but we are not scared - we are unbreakable and invincible!” Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said.

While the scale of the attack and any damages were not immediately clear, Ukrainian officials said at least 21 people were injured in Kharkiv.

The attack comes a day after Russia unleashed the largest air attack on Ukraine, with 158 missiles and drones launched towards several cities.

At least 41 people have been confirmed dead in those attacks.

Meanwhile, Russian courts have sentenced more than 200 Ukrainian fighters to prison terms since Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the RIA news agency published on Sunday.

“The courts of the Russian Federation have already sentenced more than 200 representatives of Ukrainian armed formations to long terms of imprisonment for committing atrocities,” Mr Lavrov told RIA.

Mr Lavrov did not explain what alleged “atrocities” the Ukrainian soldiers were accused of committing. Russia has itself been accused of a range of atrocities since it invaded Ukraine, including at Bucha and Irpin, with the UN saying the Bucha killings “raise serious questions about possible war crimes”.

Mr Lavrov said Russia’s main investigative organ, the Investigative Committee, has initiated 4,000 criminal cases against about 900 Ukrainian individuals.

“They include not only members of radical nationalist associations, representatives of Ukrainian security forces and mercenaries, but also representatives of the military and political leadership of Ukraine,” Mr Lavrov said. “Those of them who were charged in absentia have been put on the international wanted list.”

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