A barrage of Russian strikes hits key infrastructure in Kyiv and other cities
A massive barrage of Russian strikes on Monday morning hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities in apparent retaliation for what Moscow said was a Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea Fleet over the weekend.
Loud explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital early in the morning as residents prepared to go to work. Many received text messages from the emergency services about the threat of a missile attack, and air raid sirens blared for three hours straight.
The attacks took place just before Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and many high-ranking members of his government, including foreign, defense and interior ministers, arrived in Kyiv in the latest protest support for Ukraine from European leaders.
Vast areas of the capital were cut off from electricity and around 80% of them were left without water supply, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. In a separate message on Telegram, Klitschko said water supply in some areas of Kyiv will be restored in « three to four hours » and electricity has already been restored to one of the city’s neighborhoods.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said there was no justification for Russia launching missiles intended to inflict so much suffering on civilians.
« Don’t justify these attacks as ‘response’. Russia is doing this because they still have the missiles and the will to kill the Ukrainians, » he tweeted.
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« Really scared, » says a resident
There was a strong military presence north of Kyiv. Smoke rose from the left bank of the Dnipro River, either from a missile strike or where it was shot down by Ukrainian forces.
A resident of the area said he heard four loud explosions that rocked the area.
« At first I thought I heard a plane go by, but realized it was a missile, » said Serhii, who declined to give his full name. « The explosions were so loud! I consider myself experienced and prepared for attacks like this. But it was way too close and too loud. I was scared, really scared. »
In the outlying region, authorities have warned people to prepare for a long power outage due to the emergency cuts. Kyiv Region Governor Oleksii Kuleba also said one person was injured and a number of houses were damaged as a result of the morning attack.
In the eastern city of Kharkiv, two strikes hit critical infrastructure, authorities said, and the metro stopped working. Officials also warned of possible power outages in the city of Zaporizhzhia resulting from the strikes.
The Lviv region in western Ukraine was also targeted, but the missiles were shot down, Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said.
Critical infrastructure objects were also hit in the Cherkasy region, southeast of Kyiv, and explosions were reported in other regions of Ukraine. In the Kirovohrad region in central Ukraine, the power plant was hit, according to local authorities. In Vinnytsia, a missile that was shot down landed on civilian buildings, causing damage but no casualties, according to regional governor Serhii Borzov.
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Parts of Ukrainian Railways were also cut off from power, Ukrainian Railways reported.
The attack comes two days after Russia accused Ukraine of a drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the annexed Crimean peninsula. Ukraine has denied the attack, saying Russia mishandled its own weapons, but Moscow still announced it was halting its participation in a UN-brokered deal to allow safe passage of ships transporting grain from Ukraine.
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Commenting on Monday’s attacks, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said Russian forces « continue to fight with civilian installations. »
« We will persevere and generations of Russians will pay a heavy price for their disgrace, » Yermak said.
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This is the second time this month that Russia has unleashed a massive barrage of strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. On October 10, a similar attack rocked the war-torn country following an explosion at the Kerch Bridge linking annexed Crimea with mainland Russia – an incident Moscow blamed on Kyiv.
This time, however, Ukrainian forces say they were able to intercept most of the missiles launched by Russia.
The Ukrainian Air Force said that more than 50 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles were launched from strategic aviation missile carrier planes from the northern Caspian Sea and from the area around the Russian city of Volgodonsk in the Rostov region. A total of 44 of them were shot.
The Russian military has yet to comment on the attack.
Meanwhile, a Russian missile landed in the Moldovan village of Naslavcea on Monday morning after being shot down by air defenses in Ukraine. Naslavcea is on the border with Ukraine in the north of Moldova.
No one was injured, but the windows of several houses were smashed as the shooting landed at the northern end of the village, the Moldovan Interior Ministry said in a statement.