Day 309: Russia launches another major missile attack on Ukraine, Ukrainian troops advance in east

Russia carries out another mass missile strike on Ukraine

On December 29 at around 7 a.m., Russia launched a massive missile barrage against Ukraine. The Russian forces fired air-launched cruise missiles Kh-101 and Kh-555 from strategic bombers Tu-95MS flying over Volgodonsk in Rostov region and the north of the Caspian Sea, and Kalibr missiles from ships in the Black Sea.

Russia also launched up to six Kh-22 and Kh-32 missiles from long-range bombers Tu-22M3 and two Kh-31P anti-radar missiles.

Anti-aircraft guided missiles S-300 were fired on the infrastructure in the frontline cities.

On December 29, Russia launched a total of 69 missiles, preliminary reports said. Ukrainian air defenses shot down 54. 

At least 21 private houses, a hospital, and two vehicles were damaged in Kyiv region in a Russian missile strike on the morning of December 29, Kyiv region police chief Andriy Nebytov said on Telegram. Three people were injured in the morning attack, including a 14-year-old girl.

In past week, Ukrainian troops advance more than two kilometers on Kreminna, Ukraine’s General Staff says

In the past week, the Ukrainian troops advanced 2.5 kilometers toward Kreminna in Luhansk region.

“The Ukrainian troops continued offensive operations near Kreminna. In the past week, they have advanced 2.5 kilometers toward the city,” Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of Ukraine’s General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov said in a news conference on December 29.

Officers of Russia’s 2nd army corps deployed to Luhansk prepare to establish defense lines around Luhansk, he added.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces quotes the Russians as saying that if the Ukrainian troops break through the Russian defense line around Svatove-Kreminna and the fighting will move to Luhansk, a large part of the Russian forces, especially the draftees, will surrender.   

Ukrainians say Ukraine’s accession to NATO will be best guarantee of security for country, survey finds

A majority of Ukrainians say that Ukraine’s accession to NATO is the best guarantee of the national security after the war ends, a survey jointly conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Center in cooperation with European Pravda finds.

Almost half (48.9 per cent) of Ukrainians say that future NATO membership will guarantee security for Ukraine. Some 16.7 per cent say Ukraine needs to develop its Armed Forces and defense industry’s capacity, while looking to Israel or Switzerland as examples.  

About 10 per cent favor a treaty on strategic defense cooperation with multiple allies (for example, Poland and the Baltic states), excluding the U.S.

Some 8.5 per cent of Ukrainians would like to see international security guarantees provided to a neutral and non-aligned Ukraine. Fewer respondents – 6.7 per cent say that Ukraine needs to sign a strategic defense cooperation agreement with the U.S. 

Ten per cent were undecided.

The Ukrainians do not have a clear view of when Ukraine will become a NATO member. A quarter (25.3 per cent) of Ukrainians say it could happen after Ukraine wins the war and holds reforms.   

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