This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on December 26 in his evening video address that Ukrainians must be prepared for more Russian missile attacks, saying the country’s air defenses and state institutions are preparing for more attacks.
“Everyone must prepare. Heed the sirens, please,” he said.
Speaking about the situation on the front line, Zelenskiy said Bakhmut and Kreminna are areas that require maximum strength and concentration.
“The situation there is difficult, painful,” Zelenskiy said. “The occupiers are expending all the resources available to them — and they are considerable resources — to squeeze out at least some advance.”
He again thanked all Ukrainian soldiers who hold their positions while knocking out the occupiers.
The last mass attack happened on the night of December 19, when Russian troops attacked Ukraine with Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones. The attack was directed against Kyiv and the Kyiv region.
The December 19 attack and many others in recent weeks have targeted Ukraine’s infrastructure, including electrical substations, knocking out power. Zelenskiy said power shortages persist in Ukraine, and nearly 9 million people are currently without electricity, but the numbers of blackouts and their length are gradually decreasing.
There are many deficits in the power supply, he said, and the government has held meetings about the energy and infrastructure situation and is preparing for next year.
“There are steps that need to be taken and the state will definitely take them,” Zelenskiy said.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said the electrical grid is currently being repaired quickly to give Ukrainians uninterrupted New Year’s celebrations, but this would only be possible without fresh Russian attacks.
Halushchenko warned on December 26 that Russia may use cruise missiles in a large-scale attack on New Year’s Eve.
“The Russians have not renounced attacks on our energy network,” he told Ukrainian television. “And since they are targeting certain dates, New Year may be one of those dates when they will try to damage our energy grid.”