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Putin vows to “intensify” Russian strikes in Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with wounded servicemen in Ukraine during his visit to the Vishnevsky Central Military Clinic in Moscow on January 1, 2024.

Agence France-Presse

Vladimir Putin vowed on Monday to “intensify” Russian strikes in Ukraine in retaliation for the Ukrainian army's unprecedented bombing of the Russian town of Belgorod on Saturday.

We will intensify the strikes, no crime against civilians will go unpunished, that's a certainty, said Mr. Putin during the visit of a military hospital, saying these strikes will be carried out on military installations.

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Cars burned after a Ukrainian military attack in Belgorod, Russia, on December 30.

This statement comes following several days of escalation of hostilities between Russians and Ukrainians after the attack which left 25 dead on Saturday in Belgorod, Russia, following a missile attack against Ukraine Friday, which left around forty victims killed.

We strike with precision weapons at places of decision-making, places where soldiers and mercenaries gather, other centers of this type, military installations above all.

A quote from Vladimir Putin , President of Russia

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Describing the bombing of Belgorod, which left 25 dead and more than a hundred injured on Saturday, as a terrorist act, he accused Ukrainian forces of having struck in the very center of the city, where people are walking, before New Year's Eve.

Mr. Putin, however, considered that Ukraine is not an enemy in itself and accused the West of using the authorities in Kiev to resolve their own problems with Russia.

The Russian president also assured that Moscow's forces now have, according to him, the strategic initiative on the front in Ukraine, where they have been nibbling away since the failure of the Ukrainian summer counter-offensive.

Vladimir Putin also wished a happy new year on Monday to several representatives of different formations of the Russian army gathered around him near Moscow, according to images broadcast on Russian television.

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A shopping center damaged after a Ukrainian military attack in Belgorod on December 30.

For his part, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced that a four-year-old girl, who was in very serious condition, had died of her injuries, bringing the death toll from the bombing of Belgorod on Saturday to 25 deaths.

According to him, 109 people were injured, 70 of whom are still in hospital.

In addition to the heavy deadly strikes in recent days, a Ukrainian attack on Donetsk over the New Year also left four dead and 13 injured in this Moscow-controlled city in eastern Ukraine, announced an official installed by Moscow.

According to Denis Pushilin, Ukrainian forces targeted the center of this pro-Russian bastion using cluster bombs -ammunition.

The enemy aimed to do as much harm as possible to the civilian population, Mr. Pushilin lambasted on Telegram, affirming that these strikes made no sense on a military level.

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The Ukrainian bombing of the Moscow-held city of Donetsk on New Year's Eve killed four people and injured 13, according to the authorities installed by Russia.

According to the rescue services cited by the Russian news agency TASS, a journalist was among those killed and another among the wounded.

Donetsk, a large city in eastern Ukraine, came under the control of pro-Russian separatists led by Moscow in 2014 and has since been regularly bombed by the Ukrainian army.

The Ukrainian strikes also damaged a school, apartment buildings, a store, a business center and other buildings, said the Russian Investigative Committee on Telegram.

Ukraine, for its part, claimed to have faced during the night of New Year of a record attack by 90 Russian drones targeting several cities, including Odessa (south) and Lviv (west), leaving at least one dead.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry finally announced on Monday the death of two people, another being injured, in a drone attack on a residential building in the Sumy region (north-east). p>

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