KYIV and DNIPRO in Ukraine, as well as MOSCOW — Explosions, shook many cities across Ukraine in the most widespread attack on the country since Russia’s incursion in February. The assaults occurred just hours after Russia claimed Ukraine for a weekend explosion that damaged a major bridge connecting Russian-occupied Crimea to mainland Russia.
According to Ukrainian emergency services, multiple people have died across the country, including at least five in the capital Kyiv, which has not been attacked since June. It’s also the closest hit to the city center since the war began, coming just over 1,000 yards from the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in a video message to his Security Council that the strikes were necessary as a reaction to what he called Ukraine’s “continuous terrorist attacks” on important Russian infrastructure, including the bridge, pipelines, and nuclear power reactors.
“A major high-precision strike was undertaken this morning on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, military command, and communications,” Putin stated. “If Ukrainian terrorist attacks on Russian territory continue, our retaliation will be harsh and proportionate.”
Outages and downed communications have been reported by local media from the Kharkiv region in the east to the Lviv region in the west. The repeated volleys of explosives from the skies hindered rescue efforts across Ukraine.
In a video shared on social media, President Zelenskyy stated that the strikes disproportionately targeted civilian infrastructure in 11 of Ukraine’s 25 regions, including power plants and water heating facilities.
“It’s a rough morning when you’re dealing with terrorists,” Zelenskyy said in the video, which featured a selfie he snapped the night Russia invaded Ukraine in February. “They pick targets to kill as many people as possible.”
According to Ukraine’s state television, at least 16 cities were attacked, many of which have not been targeted since early spring.
According to Ukraine’s Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko, at least two museums and the National Philharmonic performance halls were severely damaged. According to Ukraine’s National Railway, a nearby strike damaged the country’s main passenger terminal, causing trains to be delayed during rush hour this morning.
Dnipro, a significant southern city, was rocked by explosions. A bus stop situated between high-rise apartment towers was one of the targets. A rocket slammed into a bus on its way to pick up commuters on its morning tour, shattering the bus and blowing out the windows in the surrounding apartments.
“This happened during rush hour when there was a lot of public transportation in the city,” said Ihor Makovtsev, the head of the Dnipro city council’s transportation department, as he stood by the debris. He went on to say that the bus driver and four passengers had been seriously injured and had been brought to the hospital.
The attack comes just over a week after a missile strike on a bus yard in Dnipro killed two drivers and damaged dozens of buses.
“It’s impossible for me to see any rationale in their ostensible artillery work because all of our transportation is solely for civilian reasons,” Makovtsev explained.
Viktor Shevchenko, 81, stared out from what used to be the windows of his first-floor balcony, right close to the bus stop. The ground was covered in shattered glass. He stated that he had been watering the plants on his balcony just moments before the explosion, but had gone to his kitchen to prepare breakfast.
“The explosion ripped open all of my cabinets and nearly knocked me down,” he explained. “I would have been on the balcony, full of glass, only five minutes ago.”
According to the Dnipro region’s military administration, at least four persons have been reported dead and 19 have been injured.
Strikes also hit Lviv, Ukraine’s westernmost city near the Polish border, knocking off power and sending students home.
Oleksii Reznikov, the country’s defense minister, stated on Twitter that strikes on civilian areas are “war crimes.”
Our enemy believes that missile strikes are effective means of intimidation.
They are not. They are war crimes. Civilians are dying and getting injured.
Ukraine, with the support of the civilized world, must bring the missile terrorists to justice.
And will do it. https://t.co/xXYn3okZOw
— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) October 10, 2022
Ukraine’s senior brass released a statement that indicated that the country’s air defenses shot down at least 40 incoming air strikes, but several dozen more got through. Many of the attacks were carried out by Iranian-made suicide drones launched from Belarus and the Black Sea, according to Ukrainian officials. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has enabled Russia to use his nation as a staging ground for assaults on Ukraine and has asked the Russian government for additional aid in the preparation for Ukrainian retribution.
The Kremlin’s allies welcome the robust response
The enormous Russian response appeared to be designed to appease Putin’s backers, who have grown more skeptical of the Kremlin’s military strategy as Russian soldiers have repeatedly surrendered ground to a continued Ukrainian assault. Many have been openly pressing President Putin to hit Ukraine harder.
“We told Zelenskyy that Russia hadn’t truly started yet,” wrote Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a devotee to Putin who regularly has lambasted Russia’s Defense Ministry for inefficiency in carrying out the military assault.
“Now I am completely satisfied with the way the ‘Special Military Operation’ is being conducted,” Kadyrov said, adopting the Kremlin’s favorite phrase for the battle.
In response to the attacks on Monday, the US Embassy in Kyiv urged Americans to leave the country.