Kyiv and other cities attacked by Moscow, apparently in retaliation after the Crimean bridge blast
Residents of Kyiv woke up on Monday (October 10) to loud explosions in the city center. It is the first time the Ukrainian capital has been attacked since June. This attack appears to be in retaliation after the Kerch bridge explosion in Crimea on Saturday.
Explosions of what appeared to be rocket fire shook the Ukrainian capital and other cities on Monday after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of a terrorist attack on a bridge connecting Russia and Crimea. These allegations have prompted calls for retaliation from senior officials in Moscow.
Thick smoke billowed from central Kyiv after the city was rocked by multiple loud detonations, witnesses said. The cause of the explosions was unclear and no immediate casualties were reported.
Live from Kyiv, a BBC reporter had to duck when a loud explosion was heard nearby.
Explosions were also reported in the cities of Dnipro, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhia, Mykolayiv, Khmelnytskyi, Lviv and Ternopil.
“Several Russian missile attacks on Ukraine. The only tactic of [Vladimir] Putin is terror for peaceful Ukrainian cities, but he won’t break Ukraine. It is also his answer to all people who want to appease [les tensions] and speak peace with him: [Vladimir] Putin is a terrorist who talks with rockets”, stated Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Twitter.
More attacks are expected and Kiev metro stations are once again being used as bomb shelters.
Roman Rukomeda, a Ukrainian political scientist who has regularly reported to EURACTIV on the war since the start of the war, said Monday’s attack, which killed peaceful citizens, was a demonstration “Total military powerlessness” of Russia on the battlefields.
He reminded that there is no evidence that the bridge was destroyed by the Ukrainians and not by a Russian group, possibly by a malicious autonomous intelligence group.
Mr. Rukomeda insisted that the “Terrorism of [Vladimir] poutine » did not discourage the Ukrainians but made them stronger, “Ferocious and determined to achieve final victory”.
According to him, the attack should ultimately lead to the European Union and NATO considering Russia a terrorist state and excluding the attacking country from the United Nations, the OSCE and other international organizations.
The Russian President said on Sunday (October 9) that the blast was a day earlier at the bridge over the Kerch Strait, a key supply route for Moscow’s armed forces in southern Ukraine “an act of terrorism aimed at destroying critical civilian infrastructure”.
“It was conceived, executed and ordered by the Ukrainian special services”he said in a video broadcast on the Kremlin’s Telegram channel.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the blast, but senior Russian officials have called for a swift response from Moscow ahead of a meeting of Mr Putin’s Security Council on Monday.
Security Council Deputy President Dmitry Medvedev said before the meeting that Russia must kill them “terrorists” responsible for the attack.
“Russia can only respond to this crime by directly killing the terrorists, as is practiced elsewhere in the world. This is what Russian citizens expect”he said, according to the national news agency Tass.
In particular, the Kerch Bridge was a vital artery for the port of Sevastopol, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based. It was a symbol of Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
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