Murmansk sends deadly new year greeting to Kyiv

Bombers from Kola Peninsula were part of the attack that created devastation in downtown Kyiv on 2nd of January 2024. (City authorities in Kyiv)

The air alarm howled across Ukrainian cities as Russia early morning 2nd of January launched attacks on the neighbouring country. According to Ukraine’s Air Force, a total of 16 Russian planes entered launch line around 6:00 a.m. and fired at least 70 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 air-based cruise missiles. Shortly later, MiG-31K fighter jets fired ten Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles on Ukrainian targets.

The Russians also attacked from the sea with three Kalibr cruise missiles, and from the north with 12 missiles that flew along a ballistic trajectory of the Iskander-M/S-300/S-400 type. And four Kh-31P anti-radar missiles were used from Su-35 tactical aircraft.

Critical infrastructure facilities, industrial, civilian and military facilities were attacked, and the main direction of the attack was Kyiv, the Armed Forces of Ukraine informs.

Of the 99 means of attack, the Ukrainians destroyed 72 air targets. But the attacks still created devastation in both Kyiv and Kharkiv. At least four people were killed and dozens injured.

Russian Tu-95MS strategic bomber. (Russian Armed Forces)

Russia’s far northern Murmansk region is now increasingly an important base for the terror attacks on Ukraine. The nine Tu-95MS bombers that took off from the Olenya airbase played a key role in the attack.

The Olenya base was also instrumental in the major attack on the 29th of December.

At about 2 am on the 2nd of January, the Ukrainian Air Force issued a warning about the approaching aircraft.

“Nine Tu-95MS strategic bombers from the “Olenya” airfield (Murmansk region) are flying in the southeastern direction. Estimated departure time of the aircraft to the cruise missile launch line in the Caspian Sea region – 04:00-05:00,” the message posted on Telegram reads.

The attack created despair and anger in Ukraine.

“I wish the same [missiles] was dropped over Murmansk,” a woman says in a comment.

The aggression against Ukraine was a key topic in the new year addresses of Russia’s political leaders. In Murmansk, regional Governor Andrei Chibis underlined that Russian warriors fight bravely and courageously in Ukraine.

Murmansk Governor Andrei Chibis (center) on occupied Ukrainian land together with warriors from Murmansk in 2022. (From Chibis’ Telegram channel)

“We are proud of our warriors that despite all hardship on the frontline protect our country,” he said.

Leader of the Northern Fleet Aleksandr Moiseev followed suit and highlighted the important role of his men in the war. He also stressed that the combat readiness of the troops will remain the top priority for the Northern Fleet in 2024.

Meanwhile, Head Commander of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov praised Russian soldiers that “fight with great courage on the battlefield for our great motherland.” He also recited Soviet despot Josef Stalin: “We are fighting for the righteous cause! The enemy will be crushed! The victory will be our!”

The Russian Navy has been significantly weekend in the war. The Ukrainians have successfully destroyed key parts of the Black Sea Fleet. Directly involved in the war action are also several ships from the Northern Fleet. One of them, the Olenegorsky Gornyak, was severely damaged in a missile attack in August 2023.

Several thousand med from the north Russian region have been killed. A Norwegian intelligence report from early 2023 claimed that only 1/5 of the capacity of the Northern Fleet’s powerful 200nd Motorized Rifle Brigade remained intact.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: U.S. report claims Trudeau told NATO Canada will never meet military spending target, CBC News

China: Satellite imagery reveals construction progress on new Chinese Antarctic base, Eye on the Arctic

FinlandRussian cyber attacks, espionage pose growing threat to Finnish national security, Yle news

Greenland: Growing focus on Arctic puts Greenland at higher risk of cyber attacks: assessment, Eye on the Arctic

IcelandIceland authorizes U.S. submarine service visits, Eye on the Arct

Norway: Expelled ‘diplomats’ left Norway via Kirkenes and Istanbul, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Bailiffs recruit debtors for war in Ukraine, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Russian spy ships surveying Nordic energy infrastructure, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. nominates Alaskan as first Arctic ambassador, Eye on the Arctic

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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