Good morning from Kyiv, which was targeted with at least seven Shahed drones at night shortly after the massive missile attack less than 24 hours earlier.

 

What’s happening?

 

It began around 2 a.m. when the air raid alerts came on. During the next two hours, the air defense system kicked in across Kyiv Region, and several explosions could be heard in various districts.

 

Oleksiy Kuleba, governor of Kyiv Region, said on Telegram that an "attack by drones" was under way. A few hours later, he said that kamikaze drones aimed to destroy energy facilities in the capital, but none of them hit the target.

 

"Night attack by martyr drones. Russia once again targeted our infrastructure facilities. Air defence forces repelled drones," Kuleba wrote on Telegram, adding that "emergency services are working at the crash site."

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"According to our air defense forces, seven kamikaze drones were launched toward Kyiv.

Two were shot down on approaching the capital, five – over Kyiv. Due to the debris falling in the Holosiivsky District, windows in a residential building and in one non—residential building were damaged. No casualties reported," said the capital's mayor Vitaly Klitschko.

 

What was in Volodymyr Zelensky’s latest message?

 

In his latest address on Dec. 29, President Zelensky expressed gratitude to the Ukrainian air defense, which successfully repelled another Russian attack today. 

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"54 missiles and 11 attack drones were shot down. Our warriors all over Ukraine distinguished themselves, and I thank all our Air Commands: Center, South, East and West," the president said.

 

Zelensky also reported that due to the Thursday morning attack, there were power outages in most regions of Ukraine.

 

The situation was especially difficult in Kyiv Region and the capital, Lviv Region, Odesa and the region, Kherson and the region, Vinnytsia Region, and Zakarpattia.

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"But this is nothing compared to what could have happened if it was not for our heroic anti-aircraft troops and air defense," Zelensky underlined.

 

 

What’s the latest military situation?

 

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update dated Dec. 30 reported that Russia has once again - for the fourth time already - changed the commander of Russia’s Western Group of Forces (WGF) in Ukraine. Lieutenant General Yevgeniy Nikiforov is likely in the process of taking over command.

 

According to the MoD assessment, as the Chief of Staff of Russia’s Eastern Group of Forces (EGF) during the early weeks of the invasion, Nikiforov would have been heavily involved in planning the disastrous attempt by EGF and airborne forces to advance on Kyiv from the north-west, via the Chornobyl area.

 

"WGF is almost certainly currently tasked with holding Russia’s right flank, the area of Luhansk Oblast around Kremina and Svatove. As either side could plausibly attempt an offensive in this sector, Nikiforov assumes an important operational role in the conflict," the MoD stated in its latest report.

 

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the continued churn of senior Russian officers probably reflects internal divisions regarding the Russian Ministry of Defence’s future conduct in the war.

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The Institute for the Study of War’s Dec. 29 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably that:

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated Russia’s unwillingness to commit to genuine negotiations with Ukraine.
  • Ukraine's Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Chief Kyrylo Budanov stated that fighting in Ukraine is in a deadlock.
  • The Kremlin continues to manipulate Russian law to grant the state increasingly broad powers under ambiguous conditions in order to eliminate dissent.
  • Repeated Ukrainian strikes on legitimate military targets in rear areas in the Russian Federation demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Russian air defenses against drones and exacerbate critiques that Russia cannot defend its own territory.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Kreminna while Russian forces conducted limited counterattacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Avdiivka area as well as around Bakhmut, where the potential culmination of the Russian offensive is likely being expedited.
  • Russian forces continued to conduct defensive operations in Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin’s mobilization working group met for the first time on December 29. The forum for criticism of mobilization implementation will likely create friction with the Russian Ministry of Defense.
  • Russian occupation authorities continue to intensify law enforcement crackdowns in unsuccessful attempts to stamp out partisan pressure in occupied territories.

 

And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.

Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

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