The situation in Ukraine's Donbas region escalates as reports emerge of a devastating rocket attack on a Russian training camp, resulting in the deaths of at least 60 Russian soldiers
Day 640 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Massive 6-Hour-Long Russian Drone Attack on Kyiv
Day 640 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- A powerful Russian drone attack on Kyiv, there are injured people
- The Kremlin is proud to be able to kill, Zelensky said, commenting on the nighttime drone attack
- The crimes of the USSR during the Holodomor cannot be forgiven, Zelensky said
- The Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge has forced changes in Russian naval operations
- Putin: The West should not be allowed to monopolize artificial intelligence
A powerful Russian drone attack on Kyiv, there are injured people
At least five people were injured in Kyiv in a large-scale Russian drone attack early this morning, Ukrinform reported. Air defense forces shot down over 40 air targets, the agency quoted Mihailo Shamanov.
The attack began in the early hours of the day, with more waves appearing as the sun rose. The air raid warning lasted a total of six hours.
"At the moment, there are two injured in the Solomyansky district. Both of them received medical help on the spot," the mayor of the Ukrainian capital Vitaliy Klitschko wrote on Telegram. He added that an apartment block in the neighborhood was damaged by falling debris and that rescuers were working to pull two women from the rubble.
Several fires were registered in the same district, including one in a kindergarten, the mayor added.
Debris from drones shot down by Ukrainian air defenses also fell on the Pechersk region. According to local authorities, the attack was carried out with Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones.
In the Holoseev district, the remains of a drone fell on a four-story residential building, rescuers are traveling there, Unian reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that more than 70 Iranian kamikaze drones had been fired at Ukraine and that most of them - but not all - had been shot down. The Air Force subsequently announced that it had shot down 71 Shahed drones and one missile. A total of 75 drones were launched over the capital, UNIAN notes.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko late said on Telegram that five people, including an 11-year-old girl, were injured in the attack. Buildings were damaged across the city, and debris from a downed drone caused a fire in a kindergarten.
Zelensky said the attack was carried out deliberately in the early hours of the day, when Ukrainians were commemorating their worst national tragedy, the 1932-33 famine (Holodomor) that killed several million people.
The Ukrainian leadership has previously drawn parallels between the famine and Russia's current invasion. Ukraine and over 30 other countries recognize the Hunger Games as genocide against the Ukrainian people by the Soviet Union, which at the time ruled Ukraine and tried to suppress the drive for independence.
Moscow denies the deaths were caused by a deliberate policy of genocide and claims Russians and other ethnic groups have also suffered from starvation.
The purpose of today's attack remains unclear, but in recent weeks Ukraine has warned that Russia will again conduct an air campaign to destroy the country's energy system, as it tried to do last winter. Ukraine's Energy Ministry said nearly 200 buildings in the capital, including 77 residential ones, were left without power as a result of the attack.
"It seems that tonight we heard the overture. The prelude to the winter season," wrote on Facebook the famous Ukrainian economist Serhiy Fursa.
The Kremlin is proud to be able to kill, Zelensky said, commenting on the nighttime drone attack
Russian forces deliberately carried out a massive strike with kamikaze drones on the eve of the day in memory of the victims of the Holodomor, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, quoted by Reuters and UNIAN.
"Over 70 Shaheds (Iranian kamikaze drones used by Russia.) on the night before the day of commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor. Conscious terror. Right now. The Russian leadership is proud of that it can kill," Zelensky emphasized on his Telegram channel, commenting on the night attack.
"Our soldiers shot down most of the drones. Unfortunately, not all. But they are working to strengthen our air defenses to shoot down more. And let's work further to unite the world in defense against Russian terror. The terrorist state must lose and to be responsible for what it did," the Ukrainian president added.
On the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, the Russian army carried out its largest drone attack against the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko emphasized, as quoted by Ukrinform.
A record number of Shahed-131/136 kamikaze drones were used in the attack last night, the Ukrainian Air Force also announced. Kyiv was the main target of the attack, carried out in several waves and from different directions.
As the spokesman of the Kyiv City Military Administration Mykhailo Shamanov reported, the Air Defense Forces of Ukraine intercepted more than 40 kamikaze drones aimed at the capital.
The crimes of the USSR during the Holodomor cannot be forgiven, Zelensky said
It is impossible to forgive the "crimes of genocide" of the Holodomor committed by the USSR in the 1930s during Stalin's rule, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, quoted by AFP.
The great famine in the 1930s claimed the lives of millions of people, AFP recalls.
"It is impossible to forget, to understand and above all to forgive the terrible crimes of genocide that Ukrainians experienced in the 20th century," the Ukrainian head of state said in a statement on the day in memory of the victims of the 1932-1933 famine known as the Holodomor.
On this day, the memory of the millions of Ukrainians who fell victim to the famine deliberately caused by the regime of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin is commemorated, notes UNIAN. This day of remembrance, marked in Ukraine every year on the fourth Saturday of November, was officially introduced by a decree of President Leonid Kuchma in 1998.
It commemorates the victims of the three famines - in 1921-1923, 1932-1933 and 1946-1947. The 1932-33 famine is considered particularly tragic, taking between 4.5 and 10 million victims, according to various estimates. It is recognized as a genocide against the Ukrainian people by 31 countries around the world.
The USSR long denied the mass death of Ukrainians as a result of the artificially induced famine, and journalists were forbidden to write about it. Only after the declaration of Ukraine's independence were declassified archival documents and eyewitness testimonies, UNIAN points out.
The mass famine covered all regions of the Union Republic of Ukraine and especially the central regions. The most difficult period was the first half of 1933. By order of Stalin, all grain and food stocks were seized from the Ukrainians. Out of desperation, the villagers ate straw, tree bark, leather shoes, even human flesh, notes UNIAN.
The Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge has forced changes in Russian naval operations
The Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge has "turned Russia's naval operations upside down," said the head of Ukrainian intelligence, Vasyl Malyuk, quoted by Reuters.
Moscow has been forced to resort to ferries to transport weapons, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a video broadcast.
The second of two major attacks in August has severely disrupted operations on the 12-mile (19 km) bridge, Europe's longest, and shaken the notion of Russian invincibility.
"We have practically turned the philosophy of naval operations on its head," Malyuk said in the first of a series of television documentaries titled "SBU, Victory Special Operations."
"We destroyed the myth of Russian invincibility. The country is fake. The bridge is doomed. We have many surprises ahead of us, not only the Crimean Bridge".
Malyuk outlined how the attack, approved by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, involved five "Sea Baby" drones - remotely controlled from Kyiv, 1,000 km to the north. Videos show the bridge exploding and technicians rejoicing at the result in the control room. According to the documentary, reports provided by the agents indicated that six of the eight load-bearing structures were destroyed, two were damaged, and that Russian forces had switched to using ferries to supply their troops with weapons.
Russia said two people were killed in the July attack on the bridge connecting the Crimean peninsula to Russia. Traffic on the bridge was later reopened, although Russian authorities say repair work is still ongoing.
The bridge was completed in 2018, four years after Moscow annexed the peninsula, declaring it Russian territory, Reuters recalled. The attack on the bridge was one of a number of Ukrainian offensives in the Black Sea, including a missile attack on the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in September.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this month that Ukraine had seized the initiative from Russia in the Black Sea and, including through the use of naval drones, had forced the Russian navy and warships to withdraw.
Putin: The West should not be allowed to monopolize artificial intelligence
The Russian head of state took part in the "Journey to the world of Artificial Intelligence" conference, which was held in Moscow between November 22 and 24. In his speech, Putin said that the West should not be allowed to develop a monopoly in this field, and that a "much more ambitious Russian strategy for the development of AI" would soon be approved.
"The President will participate today in the plenary session of the conference 'Journey to the world of Artificial Intelligence'. [There will be] a speech by the president, [and in addition], he will look at the demozone - an exhibition where he will be shown what artificial intelligence is," Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov announced on Friday.
According to Peskov, Sberbank - the largest lender in Russia - is one of the "flagship leaders in the work on artificial intelligence". The bank, which at the end of last year announced that it had registered an 85% drop in net profit on an annual basis to 175 billion rubles, is the organizer of the conference. This year's edition is the eighth in a row. Sberbank is one of several major Russian banks that were blocked by the SWIFT international payments system.
Putin applauded Sberbank and Yandex for developing their own generative artificial intelligence and language models, which he said should be further developed and applied to sectors of the economy. He warned that some Western online search systems and generative models ignore or even "cancel out" the Russian language and culture. Such Western algorithms, he said, essentially think Russia doesn't exist.
"Of course, the monopoly and dominance of such systems, such foreign systems, is unacceptable and dangerous," he said.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a New Year's tale composed by artificial intelligence, guesses the melody written by a neural network and learns how to assemble the perfect football team. This 'Journey to the world of artificial intelligence' was offered to the head of state by employees of Sberbank, who conducted an excursion demonstrating the possibilities of new developments before the meeting of the conference of the same name," TASS reported in one of more than 10 publications in connection with Putin's participation in the conference on Friday.
Speaking at the forum in Moscow, Putin also said that trying to ban artificial intelligence was impossible despite the sometimes troubling ethical and social implications of new technologies.
"You can't ban something - if we ban it, it will develop somewhere else and we will be left behind," Putin noted. In his view, Russia needs to improve its AI strategy in terms of both ambition and execution.
Changes in laws, increased international cooperation and much more investment are needed for the development of AI, according to Putin. He will demand that Russian researchers have better access to supercomputers and that Russia's top-level AI science education be improved.
"In the very near future, as one of the first steps, a presidential decree will be signed and a new version of the national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence will be approved," Putin said. US President Joe Biden signed a presidential executive order in October.
Among the titles of TASS publications from November 24 in connection with Putin's participation in the conference:
- Putin: AI regulation can be modeled on nuclear non-proliferation rules;
- Putin admits that in the future AI could create a new type of bureaucracy;
- Putin called for the creation of new industrial models based on AI to strengthen the economy;
- Putin: traditional values should be the basis of the development of modern technologies;
- Putin dreams of rapid evolution in the field of artificial intelligence;
- Putin called for strengthening Russia's advantage in the field of artificial intelligence;
- Putin learned how AI tells stories and can help superiors in their work;
- A new era, senseless bans and new solutions. What Putin said at the AI forum.
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