Saturday marked the beginning of a new year in Russia as President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation in a prerecorded message. His words were notably more combative and nationalistic than in previous years, with Putin thanking the Russian army for its “strength of spirit and courage” and accusing the West of “cynically using Ukraine and its people to weaken and divide Russia.” Hours after the address, dozens of missiles were launched at Kyiv and other regions in Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities reported that they had intercepted 54 out of 69 fired Russian missiles and destroyed 12 of 20 cruise missiles fired by Russia.
The attacks resulted in damage to Ukrainian infrastructure, power outages across the country and a number of civilian and military casualties. In response, the United States and other nations have pledged to supply Ukraine with additional defense systems, including two of eight promised National Advanced Surface to Air Missile systems and an Infrared Imaging System Tail from Germany.
As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine enters a new year, the fighting shows no signs of stopping. With both sides launching military strikes, those in the region remain uncertain about what the future holds.