Moment Ukrainian missile pounds Belgorod as panicking Putin launches revenge strikes & deploys 20k on air defence duty

Moment Ukrainian missile pounds Belgorod as panicking Putin launches revenge strikes & deploys 20k on air defence duty

THIS is the moment a Ukrainian missile plummeted into a busy motorway on Saturday as part of an extraordinarily fierce attack on a Russian border city.

Caught on dashcam footage, the road is torn apart in a huge explosion of fire and dust during Kyiv’s deadliest strike on Putin’s home turf so far.

The dramatic footage caught the moment the missile struck the centre of Belgorod

People can be seen running from their lives to escape the cloud of rubble

EPARussian firefighters battle to extinguish burning cars in Belgorod after the Ukrainian attack that killed at least 24[/caption]

ReutersFurther footage of the damage caused by Ukraine’s attack on Belgorod[/caption]

The terrifying footage shows cars stopping in their tracks as the motorway ahead of them disappears.

People are seen running for their lives to escape the falling rubble as the car viciously shakes due to the explosion.

Ukraine’s bombardment of Belgorod took place on Saturday in an apparent response to being rocked by the biggest blitz of the 22-month war on Friday.

The huge Russian missile, drone and bomb onslaught across the whole Ukraine killed at least 45 people during an 18-hour barrage.

In revenge, Russia’s defence ministry claimed that Ukraine hit Belgorod – a western city of 3330,000 only 25 miles from the Ukrainian border – with two missiles and several rockets.

Russian authorities claim the attack killed at least 24 people and injured nearly 110 others in what appears to be the single worst attack on Russian soil since the war began.

They stated the rockets had been shot down and the debris had fallen on the city causing the casualties – however the dashcam video suggests otherwise.

The attack exposed immense weaknesses in Putin’s air defence systems and sparked the humiliated tyrant to mobilise an extra 2,000 servicemen to guard Moscow on New Year’s Eve.

In total, 20,000 troops will be on air defence duty tonight, Russian state media reports.

Residents in Belgorod have also been given shelter maps in case of a second attack on the city this evening.

Russia pledged that the strikes would not “go unpunished” and launched yet another deadly suicide drone attack across Ukraine’s biggest cities overnight.

Ukraine’s air force reported it had destroyed 21 of 49 Russian drones launched in the early hours of New Year’s Eve in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia.

The regional governor of Kharkiv said that 28 people had been hurt after at least six missiles hit the city near the border with Russia early this morning.

Ukraine’s interior ministry also reported damage to 12 blocks of flats, 13 homes, hospitals, a hotel building, a kindergarten, commercial premises, a gas pipeline and cars.

Kharkiv’s mayor Ihor Terekhov said: “These are not military facilities, but cafes, residential buildings and offices.” 

“On the eve of the New Year, the Russians want to intimidate our city, but we are not scared – we are unbreakable and invincible.”

Bodies continue to be found amongst the rubble, bringing Friday’s death toll to at least 45, 19 of whom were killed in the strikes on Kyiv alone.

“The attack on the capital city on December 29 was the largest in terms of civilian casualties” since the start of the full-scale invasion, Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said.

An earlier Russian attack on Saturday appeared to target a five star hotel and left a British journalist among the 17 wounded.

Amid Moscow’s tit-for-tat strikes, Kremlin cronies blamed Britain for the strikes on Belgorod, without citing any evidence to bolster their claims.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “Behind the terrorist attack in Belgorod are Ukraine and Britain, which, in coordination with the United States, incites the Kyiv regime to terrorist actions.”

Kyiv has insisted the death toll in the strikes was due to an “unprofessional” management of Russia’s air defence systems.

It comes after a hacked document revealed how Putin was humiliated after losing 74 sailors when Ukraine blitzed warship Novocherkassk in a Storm Shadow missile strike.

The embarrassing death toll is far higher than Russia’s claim of one dead and six wounded. 

Another 27 were wounded in the attack on Feodosia port in annexed Crimea, according to the source.

Moscow does not dare tell its people about the scale of the deaths and injuries – and has been constantly seeking to downplay its heavy death toll amassed in the conflict so far.

The warship attack amounts to Putin’s largest naval loss in a single incident during the 22-month war. 

EPAUkrainian rescuers battle a blaze following a Russian drone attack on downtown Kharkiv early this morning[/caption]

ReutersA view shows the Kharkiv Palace Hotel heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike[/caption]

TwitterA maternity ward, educational facilities, mall and residential homes were hit in Kyiv during Russia’s aerial assault that killed 41 across Ukraine on Friday[/caption]

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