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Russia strikes residences in Kyiv in large missile attack on Ukraine cities

Iryna Karetnykova and her partner Viktor Tyschenko were in the building when it was struck by a Russian missile in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday.
Claire Harbage
/
NPR
Iryna Karetnykova and her partner Viktor Tyschenko were in the building when it was struck by a Russian missile in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday.

Updated January 2, 2024 at 12:03 PM ET

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia launched another large missile and drone attack on Ukraine's two largest cities on Tuesday, killing five people and injuring 127, Ukrainian emergency services said.

Strikes on Ukraine's capital of Kyiv hit residential buildings, a supermarket and gas infrastructure, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Firefighters and emergency service workers work the scene at a residential building in Kyiv that was damaged in a Russian missile strike on Tuesday.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
Firefighters and emergency service workers work the scene at a residential building in Kyiv that was damaged in a Russian missile strike on Tuesday.

Kyiv resident Viktor Tyschenko, 75, says he heard "five or six explosions — and then boom! We thought our lives were over."

The apartment complex where he and his partner live had been hit and caught fire. Their sixth-floor flat was quickly destroyed.

"There was so much smoke," his partner, 76-year-old Iryna Karetnykova, says. "I was yelling, 'Save us! Save us!' — hoping someone would hear." Rescue workers came with a crane and helped the couple escape.

Her face and hands still covered in soot, she says, "We don't have anything anymore. We are homeless now."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country's military shot down 70 of almost 100 Russian missiles, most of them over the capital of Kyiv.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country's military shot down 70 of almost 100 Russian missiles, most of them over the capital of Kyiv.

Two of the fatalities and 45 injured were in the apartment building, according to Kyiv's mayor.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country's defenses shot down 70 of nearly 100 missiles across Ukraine, most of them over Kyiv. The northeastern city of Kharkiv was also "hit hard," he said on his Telegram social media channel.

"The enemy launched dozens of attack drones, cruise and aerial ballistic missiles at Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Kropyvnytskyi and other settlements," the Foreign Ministry statement said.

Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander in chief of Ukraine's armed forces, said on X, formerly Twitter, the military was able to shoot down 10 of Russia's advanced Kinzhal missiles with the help of Patriot systems.

Firefighters help a woman climb out of the building after she went inside to search for her cat, following the missile strike.
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
Firefighters help a woman climb out of the building after she went inside to search for her cat, following the missile strike.

This follows a holiday weekend of Russia's aerial assaults on Ukraine, with a major attack on cities across Ukraine including Lviv, Odesa and Khmelnytskyi.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to retaliate against Ukraine after a western Russian city was struck by a deadly drone attack, The Associated Press reported, quoting Putin as saying, "We will intensify strikes."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elissa Nadworny
Elissa Nadworny reports on all things college for NPR, following big stories like unprecedented enrollment declines, college affordability, the student debt crisis and workforce training. During the 2020-2021 academic year, she traveled to dozens of campuses to document what it was like to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Her work has won several awards including a 2020 Gracie Award for a story about student parents in college, a 2018 James Beard Award for a story about the Chinese-American population in the Mississippi Delta and a 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in innovation.
Claire Harbage
Alex Leff
Alex Leff is a digital editor on NPR's International Desk, helping oversee coverage from journalists around the world for its growing Internet audience. He was previously a senior editor at GlobalPost and PRI, where he wrote stories and edited the work of international correspondents.