Day 313: Attacks Continue Following Putin and Zelenskyy's New Year's Speeches

Following New Year addresses from Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy — in which both leaders appeared to double down on existing positions — both nations launched widespread attacks in opposition territory, each taking a number of civilian casualties.

Day 313: Attacks Continue Following Putin and Zelenskyy's New Year's Speeches
Image credit: Getty Images [via The Guardian]

Facts

  • Following New Year addresses from Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy — in which both leaders appeared to double down on existing positions — both nations launched widespread attacks in opposition territory, each taking a number of civilian casualties.
  • Putin's address on New Year's Eve blamed the West for aggression and accused it of trying to use the conflict in Ukraine to undermine Russia. "It was a year of difficult, necessary decisions, the most important steps toward gaining full sovereignty of Russia and powerful consolidation of our society," Putin said.
  • In Russian attacks since Dec. 31, at least two civilians have been reported killed and 18 more injured. One civilian was reported killed and 12 more were injured in repeated attacks on the Kherson region on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2. Attacks on Zaporizhzhia also left one civilian dead and three more injured. One injury was reported in each of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kyiv, while Sumy and Dnipropetrovsk were shelled without related reports of civilian casualties at this stage.
  • Ukrainian officials also reported that a civilian who was taken to intensive care following drone and missile attacks on Kyiv on Dec. 31 has died of his injuries. On Monday, Ukraine's air force said it shot down an estimated 40 drones over Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhzhia in overnight attacks.
  • Zelenskyy's New Year's Eve address, meanwhile, recollected when the invasion started on Feb. 24 and described conditions following over 300 days of war, but vowed to continue fighting. "We fight and will continue to fight," Zelenskyy said, adding: "For the sake of the main word: 'victory.' It will be for sure."
  • In Ukrainian attacks since Dec. 31, pro-Russia officials from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) reported that two civilians were killed and 26 were injured in Russian-controlled territory. One civilian was reported killed and six more injured in the city of Donetsk, while one civilian was killed and another was injured in Yasnuvata. Another 15 civilian injuries were reported in Makeevka, while another six were reported injured in Pervomaiske.
  • Russian media initially reported only the civilian casualties from the attack on Makeevka, but later, citing the Russian defense ministry, said 63 Russian servicemen had been killed. Ukrainian media claimed that casualty figures were much higher with 400 dead and 300 wounded.

Sources: Guardian, Associated Press, Ukrinform, Pravda, President, and Tass.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Newsweek. Putin's New Year Eve statement shows he remains unwilling to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, contrary to past remarks. He lashed out against the West and said it was Russia's duty to fight in this war, indicating he is prepared to lead Russia in a conflict that could last years.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. For years, the West has lied about its intentions in the Donbas region and deceived Russia by militarizing Ukraine. Putin had to take the difficult decisions surrounding the special operation in order to ensure the security of all Russians.

Predictions