Russian strikes pound Kyiv, killing one and injuring 20

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
Firefighters extinguish a fire next to houses destroyed during a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna)
Firefighters extinguish a fire next to houses destroyed during a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna)   -   Copyright  Roman Hrytsyna/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.

At least one person has been killed, and 20 injured in the latest barrage of Russian strikes on Ukraine's capital, according to Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Among the injured, 14 have been taken to hospital and six were treated at the scene. A hotel and a detached house were hit by missiles, according to the deputy head of the president’s office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko. One of those hurt was a Japanese journalist who was staying at the hotel.

Klitschko said that other attacks hit the Pechersk and Holosiivsk districts, in the central and western parts of the city.

Ukraine’s military commander said 12 missiles fired at Kyiv were intercepted by air defences.

Fighting rages on in the east

Meanwhile, the war is grinding on in the East. Ukrainian troops are battling hard in Kreminna, while Russian forces are pounding Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday said was the scene of some of the war's fiercest fighting.

Ukrainian official Kirill Budanov said that "the Russian army almost completely destroyed the city of Bakhmut."

“The city itself is a disaster... In my understanding, this city, in principle, no longer exists as a city. Certain areas are definitely not subject to restoration. I am not a builder, but it’s easier to make this city from scratch than to rebuild,” Budanov said on television.

Putin's New Year's address

During his New Year's speech to the nation, Russian leader Vladimir Putin criticised the "aggression" of Western countries and claimed they were trying to use the conflict in Ukraine to undermine Moscow.

In his nine-minute message, President Putin accused the West of provoking Moscow and said Russia was fighting in Ukraine to get “true independence” for its people.

"It was a year of difficult, necessary decisions, the most important steps toward gaining full sovereignty of Russia and powerful consolidation of our society,” he said.

“The West lied about peace, but was preparing for aggression, and today it admits it openly, no longer embarrassed. And they cynically use Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia,” Putin said.