Ukraine and Russia trade accusations of attacks on New Year’s Day

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia intensified on the first day of the new year, as both sides reported casualties and damage from artillery and air strikes.

According to an official appointed by Russia in the eastern region of Ukraine, four people died and 13 were wounded by Ukrainian artillery fire on the city of Donetsk on Monday. The official, Denis Pushilin, who leads the Donetsk region, announced the toll on the Telegram messaging app.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the Ukrainian attack on Donetsk as a “terrorist act” that targeted civilian infrastructure aiming to injure families. In recent days, Russia reported other “indiscriminate” attacks from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian official said that one person was killed and nine were injured by a Russian drone strike on the southern port city of Odesa on the same day. The official, Oleh Kiper, who is the governor of the Odesa region, said on Telegram that the drones were shot down, but their debris caused fires in several residential buildings across the city.

A video posted on social media by the mayor of Odesa, Henadii Trukhanov, showed him visiting a damaged apartment building with broken windows.

In his post, Trukhanov said: “They say that how you welcome the New Year is how you will live the year. Well, this year Ukraine will break this rule: we will persevere and we will win.”

Other Ukrainian officials reported that a Russian air strike on the western region of Lviv, which borders Poland, damaged a university building in the town of Dubliany and a monument to a 1940s leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) near the city of Lviv.

The Ukrainian air force also said that Russia targeted the Mykolaiv and Dnipro regions with air strikes.

Both Ukraine and Russia deny attacking civilians in the war that began with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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