Ukraine. Rocket fire as Putin’s New Year’s greeting to the Ukrainian people

By Oleg Vernyk – President of the Independent Trade Union of Ukraine “Zakhist Pratsi” – Socialist League of Ukraine.

On December 29, 2022, the Russian military launched another massive missile attack to destroy Ukraine’s energy system for good. This time, the missile attack was accompanied by the combined use of Iranian combat drones. Putin’s goal was to plunge the entire territory of Ukraine into darkness. Due to the backdrop of recent military failures, Putin’s clique fervently wished that Ukrainians would celebrate the New Year 2023 without electricity and with candles on their festive tables.

On December 29, 10 regions of Ukraine and the capital, Kiev, were shelled. In total, Russian occupiers used more than 11 Iranian drones and 69 cruise missiles launched from Tu-95MS strategic bombers, Tu-22M3 aircraft and Russian ships of the Black Sea Fleet. In addition, S-300 surface-to-air guided missiles were fired at Ukrainian cities in the frontline area. However, something totally unexpected happened for the Russian aggressors. The Ukrainian air defense system shot down virtually all of the Iranian combat drones and also managed to shoot down 54 of the 69 Russian missiles.

The consequences of this attack were again quite severe and unpleasant. A good number of residential buildings were damaged, several people were injured and, again, a large number of residential areas in several regional centers of western Ukraine and the city of Kiev were left without power. However, the expected collapse of the Ukrainian power sector did not happen. Once again, Putin miscalculated. By the evening of December 29, power had already been restored to almost all residential areas that had suffered outages. It should also be noted that this rocket attack did not kill any Ukrainian civilians.

We would like to highlight the following:

1. The Ukrainian air defense system appears to be beginning to adapt greatly to massive missile strikes against energetic targets. The percentage of Russian cruise missiles shot down is steadily increasing. The shock we suffered at first from Iranian combat drones, which have also recently become increasingly vulnerable to Ukrainian air defense systems, has also passed. It is noteworthy that, of the 16 missiles launched against Kiev, this is the first time that all 16 have been shot down, and houses and people have been damaged only from the fall of the downed missiles.

2. It seems that Russia is beginning to feel some shortage regarding the accumulation of large numbers of cruise missiles to conduct massive missile strikes against Ukraine. Russia needs at least 3 weeks of time to completely rebuild its arsenal from the required 90-100 missiles. Reducing this time and increasing the regularity of missile strikes leads to a reduction in the total number of strike missiles. Obviously, the effectiveness of a launch of 69 cruise missiles to penetrate the Ukrainian air defense system is much lower than that of a similar launch of 100 missiles.

3) The Russian military uses less and less modern types of missiles (“Dagger”, “Kalibr”) due to their limitations. They increasingly use extremely obsolete Kh-22 missiles, which were manufactured 60 years ago in Soviet times. Technically and technologically, the Russians can no longer restore the production lines of these missiles.

4. Attention should also be drawn to a certain escalation of the information confrontation between the Main Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and President Zelensky’s office. It already seemed extremely ridiculous when President Zelensky’s chief speechwriter and advisor to the head of the President’s Office, Mikhail Podolyak, claimed that 120 missiles had been fired at Ukraine, while a few hours after this statement AFU Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny publicly denied this figure and mentioned the figure of 69 missiles. As we can see, the difference between the announced figures is almost 2 times and it is obvious that there is a very definite information imbalance and competition.

5. The civilian population of Ukraine in the middle of winter shows wonders of resistance and heroism. It is obvious to everyone that these rocket attacks have absolutely no military significance and are directed solely against the Ukrainian civilian population for the sole purpose of breaking their spirit of resistance. But Putin and his clique miscalculated. With every Russian missile attack, the Ukrainian national resistance only grows stronger.

The Ukrainian working class enters this new year, 2023, in an extremely difficult situation, but with the firm conviction that it will be able to maintain its own independent state. We are not fighting for the interests of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, but for the right to self-determination and the opportunity to decide our own destiny. Hard class battles await us, but also a victory over the mighty imperialist occupier. We would like to appeal to all our comrades all over the world in the proletarian struggle: together we will win! HAPPY NEW YEAR, comrades! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!