Russia on Monday launched a missile attack in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and several other cities a day after it blamed Ukraine's special forces for explosions that damaged the Kerch Bridge that connects Crimea to Russia. Missiles hit several areas of the capital in Ukraine as Russia bombed the city.
Along with Kyiv, many other key cities across Ukraine including Lviv, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro also reported explosions caused by missile strikes, Reuters reported.
Here are the details on the explosion of the Kerch Bridge (Crimea) and how Russia launched a massive wave of missile strikes in Kyiv and around Ukraine in retaliation.
What Is Happening In Kyiv And Other Cities
BBC reported Ukrainian Air Force (UAF) spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat as saying that Russia has so far fired at least 83 missiles, some of which were shot down. The attack, touted as the worst since the war began, is still going on.
Ihnat added how the Russians launched missiles from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The missiles included Iskander, Kh-101, and Kalibr.
On Sunday, Russian authorities attacked Zaporizhzhia with a missile strike that reportedly killed at least 13 people. The missiles also struck the towns of Marhanets, Myrove and Chervonohryhorivka that come closer to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The power plant is the biggest in Europe.
The Guardian reported that Kyiv was hit by at least four missiles on Monday morning, including in the urban district of Shevchenkivskyi. The missiles also hit and damaged the Klitschko bridge in Kyiv. After Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed his communication with the German chancellor Olaf Scholz, a Russian missile hit a building in Kyiv that houses the German consulate.
Explosion Of The Kerch Bridge In Crimea
The Kerch Bridge (also known as the Kerch Strait Bridge) was rocked by a truck explosion on Saturday, that killed three people and partly damaged sections of the bridge.
The Kerch is a vital bridge that connected annexed Crimea with mainland Russia. The parallel bridges were constructed by the Russians after annexing Crimea from Ukraine back in 2014. The 19-kilometre bridge was opened in 2018, making it the longest in Europe.
The bridge, hailed by Russian media as the "construction of the century", has been a crucial connector for Russia to supply ammunition and send military equipment and troops to southern Ukraine, including the annexed territory of Crimea as well.
With the bridge playing a vital role in Russia's overall blueprint for the military invasion, many Ukrainian authorities have vowed to retake the Kerch peninsula of Crimea, making the Russian bridge a top target.
What Did Russia Say On Sunday
Following the explosion, Russian president Vladimir Putin called the attack "a terrorist act" that was planned by Ukrainian special services. After the attack, Putin ordered the Federal Security Service (FSB) to monitor the key crossing to the Kerch peninsula.
Putin threatened a "harsh response" that includes a massive launch of missile strikes across various Ukrainian cities. But according to Dmytro Kuleba, minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine, Putin did not require anything to "provoke" him, including the missile strikes on the capital Kyiv today.
How Have World Leaders Reacted?
Russia's missile strikes on Ukraine have received condemnation from various world leaders, who stood with Ukraine. German chancellor Olaf Scholz's spokesperson Steffen Hebestreiet assured Ukraine to assist with repairing civilian infrastructure and condemned Russia's airstrikes for the damages.
Reuters reported that French president Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed France's support to Ukraine with military equipment. Moldovan deputy prime minister Nicu Popescu questioned the Russian ambassador on the missiles launched from the Russian ships in the Black Sea and the cruise missiles crossing Moldovan airspace. The Moldovan minister asked for an explanation from his counterpart.
Poland's minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau tweeted his support towards Ukraine and condemned the Russian bombings of Ukrainian cities and civilians.
Irish taoiseach (prime minister) Micheál Martin condemned the missile attacks on Kyiv and held Russia accountable for various breaches of international law.
Russia on the other hand received support from its neighbour and ally, Belarus. Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Belarusian president said that the country will deploy a joint military task force with Russia as a reply to an "aggravation of tension on the country's western borders", as reported by BCC.
Lukashenko did not reveal where the troops will be deployed and claimed that Ukraine is strategising an attack on Belarus. The BBC quoted Belarusian state news agency Belta, "My answer was simple: 'Tell the Ukrainian president and other madmen that the Crimea bridge will seem like a walk in the park if they touch even a metre of our territory with their dirty hands.'"