Moscow unleashes fresh wave of drone attacks on Ukraine

Andre Ballin |

A man past the remains of an industrial building after a Russian rocket attack in Sloviansk, Ukraine
A man past the remains of an industrial building after a Russian rocket attack in Sloviansk, Ukraine

Russia has again bombarded its neighbour with missile and drone attacks in northern, central and southern Ukraine, hours after the Ukrainian military noted Moscow was doubling down on efforts to seize towns and villages.

“Enemy drones have attacked the regional centre,” Zaporizhzhya military governor Yuri Malashko said on Telegram late on Saturday. 

He said an infrastructure object had been hit but did not provide any further details.

Officials also reported missile attacks in the central Ukrainian region of Poltava. An industrial building in Kremenchuk was hit and a fire broke out, military governor Filip Pronin wrote. Efforts are ongoing to fight the fire but no information was available on possible casualties.

There were also renewed attacks in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine, but no details were initially available about the extent of the damage.

A Russian rocket attack in Kharkiv
There have been renewed attacks in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine. (AP PHOTO)

Earlier, the Ukrainian military noted the Russian army is increasing its efforts to capture Ukrainian towns and villages.

“The occupying forces have significantly increased the number of attacks and assaults – for the second day in a row, the enemy has carried out 50 combat operations,” brigadier general Oleksandr Tarnavskyi wrote on his Telegram channel.

Tarnavskyi, who is responsible for the front section in the south and south-east of Ukraine, said that the number of air strikes has also increased.

The figures cited by Tarnavskyi apparently refer to the southern part of the Donetsk region.

According to media reports, after initially gaining ground, the Russians are barely making any progress despite the large amount of manpower and equipment they have deployed.

Ukraine has been defending itself against the all-out Russian invasion with a significant amount of Western support. The fighting is still concentrated around the east and south.

Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive in June 2023, but progress has been limited. Kiev has vowed to retake all the land occupied by Russia, including the Crimean peninsula which the Kremlin annexed in 2014.

Even as the war drags on, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says international supporters are not losing energy in their support, despite current problems with weapons supplies.

“Despite various challenges and many difficulties, Ukraine has managed to maintain international attention for our, the Ukrainian struggle for independence,” he said in his daily video address.

He reviewed progress made in the last month, underlining an agreement with Britain as a particular success and saying this would serve as a model for similar security agreements with other countries.

Zelenskiy also spoke of a “good dynamic” in terms of international defence aid, though he emphasized the importance of the US as the most 

Meanwhile Russian parliamentary leader Vyacheslav Volodin evoked the danger of a third world war on the 80th anniversary of the end of the siege of Leningrad.

“Fascist ideology has become the norm for the leadership of NATO countries,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.

He accused Western governments, including explicitly the German government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, of supporting a policy of genocide in Ukraine. 

“This is a dangerous path that could lead to a new world war,” Volodin said.

Vyacheslav Volodin
Vyacheslav Volodin says the Ukraine war is on a dangerous path that could lead to “a new world war”. (AP PHOTO)

Russia’s main justification for its war against Ukraine, which has been going on for almost two years, is the claim that the neighbouring country needs to be “de-Nazified.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly uses historical comparisons with World War II to justify his attack on the neighbouring country.

He equates the invasion of Ukraine that he ordered with the Soviet Union’s defence against Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.

On anniversaries, Moscow often uses the argument of “defending the memory of the war dead” for its war campaign.

Exactly 80 years ago, on January 27, 1944, Soviet troops broke through the German Wehrmacht’s siege ring around what was then Leningrad, now St Petersburg.

Before this, German troops had deliberately caused the deaths of an estimated 1.2 million people, who died from bombing, hunger and cold.