Amid reports of multiple explosions across Ukraine including in its capital city Kyiv on Monday morning, the country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to “destroy” Ukrainians and wipe them “off the face of the earth”, local media reported.
At least five people were killed in the attacks on Kyiv and authorities in the cities of Kharkiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk also reported missile and rocket attacks, CNN reported.
Local media also reported explosions from Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Dnipro and Ternopil. Kyiv Independent quoted advisor to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Rostyslav Smirnov stating that the attack on central Kyiv has killed eight people while injuring 24 persons.
As of around 8:45 am, six cars caught fire and over 15 cars were damaged as a result of the attack on Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyi district. This recent attack comes in the backdrop of the recent attacks on the Crimea bridge that reportedly killed three people and Russia’s weekend attack on the city of Zaporizhzhia that killed residents as they slept in their homes and injured at least 70 people.
Monday’s blasts were the first major attacks on the capital Kyiv since June. Video footage circulating on social media showed cars ablaze in the middle of a downtown street in Kyiv, reported Washington Post.
On Saturday a truck exploded on Kerch bridge, causing seven fuel tanks of a train heading to the Crimean Peninsula to catch fire. This led to the partial collapse of two spans of the road bridge, according to media reports.
Shortly afterwards, the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on enhancing security measures for the Crimea bridge. In the decree, Putin also called for securing the energy bridge and the gas pipeline connecting the peninsula with mainland Russia.
Media reports said that Putin plans to hold an operational meeting of his Security Council today. The bridge was opened in 2018 by Putin, four years after Moscow annexed Crimea and was designed to link the peninsula to Russia’s transport network.
The 19-kilometre bridge, which runs across the Kerch Strait and connects Crimea with mainland Russia, consists of a railway and vehicle sections. It became fully operational in 2020.
On Saturday, at least 17 people were killed and 40 others injured after a rocket struck Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia area. Acting Mayor of Zaporizhzhia Anatoly Kurtev said that in the attack, five houses were destroyed and apartment buildings were damaged, CNN reported.