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Russia fires hypersonic ballistic missiles at Ukraine’s 2 largest cities, leaving 4 dead, nearly 100 injured

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Russia launched hypersonic ballistic missiles at Ukraine’s two largest cities on Tuesday morning, leaving at least four people dead and almost 100 injured, officials said. The attack comes as Moscow’s war is approaching its two-year milestone.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on the social media platform X that four civilians were killed after hypersonic Kinzhal missiles that can fly at 10 times the speed of sound struck Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv and its second-largest city of Kharkiv.

“As of now, 92 people have been reported injured. They are all receiving assistance. Unfortunately, four people were killed. My condolences go out to their families and close ones,” Zelenskyy said.

The barrage included “almost 100 missiles of various types,” Zelenskyy said, noting at least 70 missiles were shot down. “Everyone is being provided with the necessary assistance. I thank the employees of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, police officers, doctors — everyone who helps people.”

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Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a destroyed building after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Zelenskyy credited the Patriot, IRIS-T, and NASAMS systems for downing the rockets and saving potentially hundreds of lives. 

Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed the attack, saying its military fired at military industrial facilities as well as depots storing missiles and munitions supplied by Ukraine’s Western allies in and around Kyiv.

“The goal of the strike has been achieved, all the targets have been hit,” it said.

Emergency workers

Rescuers work at a site of a destroyed apartment building after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Ball of fire

Fire and smoke rise after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Since Sunday, Zelenskyy said, Russian forces have launched about 170 Shahed drones and “dozens of missiles of various types” in an onslaught against Ukrainian targets.

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One missile allegedly used in the attacks was the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal, an air-launched hypersonic ballistic missile, that Russian forces rarely use as they are expensive and Russia only has a limited stock.

Smoke coming from a building

Rescuers work at a site of a destroyed apartment building after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Plume of black smoke

Smoke rises after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Air raid sirens blared for nearly four hours Monday on Tuesday, and the city’s subway stations — often used as shelters during missile strikes — were crowded.

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The barrage comes after Russia attacked on Friday, in which at least 41 civilians were killed, its largest single assault on Ukraine since the war started.

Russia launched about 90 Shahed-type drones across Ukraine on Monday, Ukrainian officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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