Here is the situation on Sunday, December 31, 2023.
- Russia said at least 21 people, including three children, were killed and dozens more injured after an attack Moscow blamed on Kyiv hit a residential area of Belgorod near the border with Ukraine.
- Ukraine said at least 21 people were injured after Russia fired two S-300 surface-to-surface missiles at the northeastern town of Kharkiv, hours after the Belgorod attack. The Kharkiv regional chief prosecutor said the missiles came from the direction of Belgorod, about 30km (19 miles) from the Ukrainian border.
- The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that 10 Iranian-made Shahed drones had been shot down across Ukraine’s Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, and Mykolaiv regions. Kyiv’s military administration said air defence systems in the region surrounding the capital repelled a new Russian bombardment late on Saturday night.
- The Polish Army said it ended a ground search after finding no parts of a suspected Russian rocket that it said had violated the country’s airspace on Friday morning. Poland earlier summoned the Russian charge d’affaires and demanded an explanation for the breach of its airspace.
Politics and diplomacy
- Russia drew sharp criticism at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for its huge air assault on Ukraine on Friday that damaged a maternity hospital, apartment blocks and schools and killed at least 41 people. Kyiv and its allies called for an urgent meeting of the 15-member body to address the strikes. Russia also called for the UNSC to convene on Saturday following the Belgorod attack, which it described as “a terrorist attack by the Kyiv regime against a civilian city”.
- United States President Joe Biden said Russia’s missile attack was a “stark reminder” that Russian President Vladimir Putin remained committed to destroying Ukraine and that “he must be stopped”. Biden urged Congress to “step up” and back continued funding for Ukraine amid opposition from right-wing Republicans.
- Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the country had exported about 13 million tonnes of cargo on some 400 ships since establishing a protected maritime corridor in August, after Moscow abandoned the Black Sea grain deal brokered by the UN and Turkey that had previously allowed safe passage for Ukraine’s exports.
Al Jazeera and news agencies