As deadly Russian strikes hit multiple Ukrainian cities including Kyiv on Monday, president Vladimir Putin threatened “harsh response” to what he termed “terrorist attacks” against Russia after wave of strikes which were in response to an attack on the Kerch bridge linking Russia and Crimea.
Russia launched long-range missile attacks against Ukraine’s energy, military and communications infrastructure today in retaliation for the bridge attack, Vladimir Putin said blaming Ukraine for the Kerch bridge attack.
The Kerch bridge attack was a “terrorist attack aimed at the destruction of civil critical important infrastructure of Russia”, the Russian president said.
“If acts of terrorism continue against Russia, we will respond in a very harsh manner. The responses will be of the same scale as the threats to Russia. Nobody should have any doubts about this,” Putin said at a security council meeting.
The hours-long attack on Ukraine marked a sudden military escalation after the huge bridge connecting Russia to its annexed territory of Crimea was attacked on Saturday.
At least eight people were killed and 24 were injured in just one of the Kyiv strikes, Associated Press reported.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces launched dozens of missiles against Ukraine and the targets were civilian areas and energy facilities in 10 cities. The general staff of the Ukraine armed forces said 75 missiles were fired against Ukrainian targets adding that 41 of them were neutralized by air defenses.
European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned the attacks saying, “Such acts have no place in the 21st century”. Borrell also pledged additional military support to Ukraine.