President Vladimir Putin vowed to “intensify” attacks on Ukraine after days of aerial bombardment by both sides in the long war.
Speaking during a visit to a military hospital in Moscow, Putin said the military would continue to target Ukraine’s “military facilities.
” He called Ukraine’s airstrike on the Russian town of Belgorod “a deliberate attack against civilians.
” Twenty-four people were killed and more than 100 injured in Saturday’s attack. Speaking to Russian troops on Monday, Putin said the war was turning in Moscow’s favor and he wanted it to end quickly, but only on Russia’s terms.
He said Ukraine’s Western backers were the biggest obstacle to ending the conflict, but their rhetoric began to change as they began to realize they could not “destroy” Russia.
On Sunday, Putin sent his traditional New Year’s message in which he praised Russian soldiers as “heroes” without explicitly mentioning the war in Ukraine.
In his own New Year’s message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to sharply increase the number of weapons produced by the country by 2024, pledging to build at least one million drones.
Russia and Ukraine have continuously had deadly attacks in recent days.
Ukraine bombed the Russian-held city of Donetsk on New Year’s Eve, killing at least four people and wounding 13 others, according to Moscow-appointed officials and on Saturday, Ukrainian forces launched a series of attacks on targets in southwestern Russia, including one on Belgorod that Mr. Putin called a “terrorist attack.
” Last week, Russia launched a widespread attack in several cities in Ukraine, killing at least 45 people. This attack was described by Kiev as Russia’s largest missile bombardment of the war so far.