Zelensky Pledges Additional Ukrainian-Made Weaponry in his New Year’s Address

Next year, President Volodymyr Zelensky has pledged a significant increase in the quantity of weapons manufactured in Ukraine.

Mr. Zelensky reiterated his pledge in his New Year’s message that a minimum of one million drones would be manufactured.

During the night leading up to New Year’s Day, violence continued in Odessa, Ukraine’s south, and the Russian-held Donetsk region, which claimed the lives of five individuals.

Prior to that, in his New Year’s address, Vladimir Putin lauded his military without mentioning the conflict.

In addition to praising his soldiers as “heroes… at the forefront of the fight for truth,” the Russian president proclaimed 2024 the “year of the family” and alluded to economic issues, a major concern for many Russians.

As the conflict against Russia approaches its third year, Mr. Zelensky stated on Sunday, “The adversary will experience the repercussions of domestic production the following year.”

He reiterated what he stated earlier this month that Ukraine would produce “a million” additional drones in 2024 and that F-16 fighter aircraft would be supplied by Ukraine’s Western allies.

“Our pilots are already mastering F-16 jets, and we will definitely see them in our skies,” according to him. “So that our enemies can certainly see what our real wrath is.”

New Year’s greetings arrived mere hours prior to additional assaults. According to Denis Pushilin, the Russian-installed chief of Donetsk, thirteen individuals were injured and four were reported killed in the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, as reported via Telegram.

“Massive shelling from multiple launch rocket systems,” he characterised the assault.

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In Odessa, located in the southern region of Ukraine, a Russian drone strike resulted in the fatalities of one individual and injured three others, according to the local governor, Oleg Kiper.

In recent days, hostilities have escalated following Russia’s strikes across Ukraine on Friday, which resulted in the deaths of 39 people and was characterised by Kyiv as the most massive missile barrage of the conflict to date. Multiple communities, including the capital, Kyiv, were affected.

This was followed on Saturday by Ukrainian attacks against Russia, with Moscow reporting fatal air strikes in the southwestern region of the country, including over a hundred and twenty-four injuries in Belgorod, close to the border.

Mr. Zelensky implored his Western allies to maintain their support for Ukraine in light of the possibility that aid from allies in Washington and Europe will decrease.

The US has delivered its final shipment of military assistance to Ukraine; any additional aid supplies are on hold due to a dispute in the US Congress.

Although Mr. Zelensky acknowledged that his nation’s spring offensive fell short of expectations, he insisted in his message that his country had grown stronger as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The conflict in Ukraine was conspicuously absent from Mr. Putin’s New Year’s address, which was significantly more limited in scope than its predecessor.

However, he stated: “To everyone who is at a combat post, at the forefront of the fight for truth and justice: You are our heroes, our hearts are with you,” according to him. “We are proud of you, we admire your courage.”

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