At least five people were killed and at least a dozen others injured in the attacks, according to the National Police of Ukraine on their Telegram channel.
Explosions were reported in other major Ukrainian cities On Monday, Moscow unleashed a barrage of missiles, along with Zaporizhia, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Lviv.
In Kiev, strikes came in waves, the first attacks on the city since June. But even with Russian troops outside the capital in the early months of the war, there had never been such a direct attack on the city center.
Suddenly, the cheerful banter that characterized Ukraine’s national fervor over the Crimean bridge fireball was replaced on Monday by anger and outrage, accusations of terrorism against Moscow and a redoubled resolve to overcome aggression and defeat the aggressors.
Parallel to the first days of the war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a video of himself standing in the center of Kyiv, outside the presidential office, to address citizens.
“Mornings are tough,” Zelensky said. “We are dealing with terrorists.”
“Always remember,” he added, “that Ukraine existed before the enemy appeared, and Ukraine will continue to exist after that.“
Russia’s attacks in the center of the capital have raised questions about the strength of Ukraine’s air defenses, prompting officials to push Western countries to bolster them with additional security assistance. Ukraine’s military said its air defenses shot down 43 of the 83 missiles fired at the country on Monday.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kiev was reaching out to its Western allies to respond to Monday’s attacks. “I have been in continuous contact with partners since early this morning to provide a concrete response to the Russian attacks,” Kuleba posted on Twitter. “I am interrupting my Africa tour and returning to Ukraine immediately.”
The strike appeared to be in retaliation for Saturday’s attack on the bridge across the Kerch Strait, which has partially reopened with rail traffic. The Crimean Bridge is a strategic link between Russia and Crimea and a symbol of President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to annex the Ukrainian region.
Putin Blamed the Ukrainians Special services for attack.
“There is no doubt that this attack was aimed at destroying critical civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation,” Putin said in a video released by the Kremlin on Sunday. The 12-mile stretch, while used by civilians, is a vital military logistics route for Russia’s military, the only direct road and rail link from mainland Russia to Crimea, which the Kremlin invaded and illegally annexed in 2014.
“And now the answer has come,” Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the state-owned channel RT, wrote on Twitter. “The Crimean Bridge was a red line from the very beginning. It was obvious. “
Putin is under pressure in what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine after recent battlefield failures. Over the past six weeks, Ukraine has routed Russian forces from northeastern Kharkiv region and pushed them back into eastern Donbas region and southern Kherson region.
But while Kiev has been hit by Russian hardliners who have called for more attacks on the capital, it will not affect Russia’s main strategic agenda, including losses of troops and equipment, flagging morale and repeated logistical failures.
The attacks came after Russia announced on Saturday that it had appointed General Sergei Surovikin as the overall commander of the war in Ukraine. Surovikin is a veteran officer who led the Russian military campaign in Syria in 2017, which involved indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas.
Moscow’s long-time proxy leader of Crimea called the attacks across Ukraine “good news”.
“Good news from the morning: the approach to conducting special military operations has changed,” the regional chief, Sergey Aksyonov, wrote on Telegram. “I have said since the first day of the operation that if such actions aimed at destroying the enemy’s infrastructure were carried out every day, we would have finished everything in May and the Kyiv regime would have been defeated.”
“I hope that the operation will not slow down now,” Aksyonov said.
Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechnya region in the North Caucasus, who has repeatedly called for an escalation of the war in Ukraine and has sent hundreds of soldiers to the front, said he was now “100 percent satisfied” with Moscow’s war strategy. .
Monday’s attacks shattered a sense of relative calm that Kiev has enjoyed since April, when Ukrainian forces forced Russian forces to withdraw from the territory’s northern edges.
Reports of explosions across the country returned within hours of the first day of the war, when Russia tried to destroy Ukrainian military installations to set the stage for an invasion. On Monday, however, the target appeared to be mostly civilian.
About 90 minutes after the first explosions rocked the capital, emergency workers and military personnel gathered around the stricken square in central Kiev. The location is adjacent to a major university complex and Taras Shevchenko Park, which is popular with families. One of these missiles landed on the playground of the park.
The charred wreckage of several cars remained, and at least one body bag was visible on the pavement. The broken windows of the building were strewn on the pavement.
Another missile hit a glass pedestrian bridge in downtown Kiev, a popular tourist spot.
Kyiv has become somewhat normal Life in the months since Russia failed to capture the capital and overthrow the government. People routinely ignore air-raid sirens while sitting in outdoor cafes and walking around town.
After the outbreak of war prompted many foreign governments to evacuate their embassy staff, embassies slowly reopened. The US reopened its embassy in May. It was unclear whether Monday’s barrage would prompt those countries to reconsider.
In the western city of Lviv, a haven for thousands of displaced Ukrainians because it is far from the front lines, missiles hit a power plant and knocked out electricity and hot water in some places, Mayor Andriy Sadovy said on Twitter.
“They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth,” Zelensky said on Telegram. “Destroy our people sleeping at home in Zaporizhia. Kill commuters in Dnipro and Kyiv.
Khurshudyan reports from Krivy Rih, Ukraine. Kostiantin Khudov in Kyiv and Marie Ilyushina in Riga, Latvia contributed to this report.
The War in Ukraine: What You Need to Know
Latest: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the order on Friday Added four occupied territories of Ukraine, after holding a referendum that was widely condemned as illegal. follow us Live updates here.
Response: The Biden administration on Friday a A new round of sanctions against Russia, in response to the annexation, targeted government officials and family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials, and defense procurement networks. President Volodymyr Zelensky also said on Friday that Ukraine is Applying for “quick ascension” to NATOIn clear reply to attachments.
In Russia: Putin announced military mobilization To call the maximum on September 21 300,000 reserve In a dramatic attempt to roll back the odds in his war on Ukraine. The announcement was made an exit of More than 180,000 peoplemostly who were subject to male serviceAnd Renewed demonstrations and other acts of disobedience against the war.
Fight: Mounted in Ukraine A successful counterattack That Forced a large Russian retreat into the northeastern Kharkiv region In early September, the army fled the towns and villages it had occupied since the early days of the war and A large amount of military equipment was released.
Photo: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground since the start of the war – Here are some of their most powerful functions.