Jan 1, 2024 - World

Putin vows to "intensify" strikes on Ukraine after Russian city shelled

In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with servicemen wounded in Ukraine while visiting the Central Vishnevsky Military Clinic in Moscow on January 1, 2024.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a New Year's Day visit to the Central Vishnevsky Military Clinic in Moscow, Russia, on Monday. Photo: Kristina Kormilitsyna/Pool/AFP via Russian state agency Sputnik and Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Monday to "intensify the strikes" on Ukraine military targets after his forces bombarded the country with an unprecedented number of Iranian-made drones.

The big picture: The Ukrainian Air Force said in a Telegram post that it shot down 87 of the 90 "Shahed-type" drones on New Year's Eve — part of a wave of Russian military attacks to hit the country since Friday.

Driving the news: Putin said during a New Year's Day visit to a Moscow military hospital that Ukraine should expect more strikes after the Saturday shelling of the Russian border city of Belgorod that killed 20 people and wounded more than 100 others — which he denounced as a "terrorist act" that he blamed on Kyiv.

  • "They want to intimidate us and create uncertainty within our country. We will intensify strikes," Putin said. "Not a single crime against our civilian population will go unpunished."

Meanwhile, the Russian-installed official in the occupied Ukrainian city of Donetsk blamed Ukraine's forces for "heavy shelling" that killed at least four people on Monday.

Of note: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his New Year's Eve address promised Russian forces "will feel the wrath" of Kyiv's domestic weapons production.

  • "Our weapons, our equipment, artillery, our shells, our drones, our naval 'greetings' to the enemy and at least a million Ukrainian FPV drones," Zelensky said, per a transcript.
  • Kyiv typically doesn't comment on strikes on Russian soil.

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