By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Authorities say a massive wave of Russian missile strikes on cities across Ukraine, including the capital, killed at least 11 people and injured dozens more. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed the strikes saying they were in response to an attack on a bridge linking Russia and occupied Crimea and warned of more violence.
Loud blasts reverberated throughout Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. In central Kyiv, vehicles are on fire. A high-rise complex housing offices of tech giant Samsung near the city’s central train station is among other sites suffering severe damage.
This was the first time Kyiv hit for months, and the explosions appeared more central than Russian strikes earlier in the war. Most dead and wounded were here in the center.
Besides Kyiv, numerous other Ukrainian cities were targeted by as many as 81 cruise missiles, and Ukraine’s air defenses had shot down 43 of them, officials said. Russia’s defense ministry claimed it had hit all its intended targets
Blasts were also reported in Lviv, Ternopil, and Zhytomyr in western Ukraine, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia in the south, and Kharkiv in the east.
Residents were running for cover. “I am so shocked because I’ve just seen a rocket fly,” a girl said. “And I felt it.”
Her words were interrupted as a missile appeared to hit a target. She narrowly escaped the blast unharmed, shouting in shock.
In Moscow, Russian President Putin defended the coordinated strikes saying they were in response to Saturday’s attack on the Kerch bridge.
The now-damaged bridge links Russia with the Crimea peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. “Leaving such crimes without a response is simply impossible,” President Putin told the nation in televised remarks.
He explained that at the proposal of Russia’s Ministry of Defense and the general staff, Moscow launched long-range missile attacks from the sea and land. “They were aimed at Ukraine’s energy, military, and communications infrastructure.”
Putin warned: “If attempts continue to carry out terrorist acts on our territory, Russia’s responses will be harsh and in their scale correspond to the level of threats created for the Russian Federation. No one should have any doubt about that.”
The strikes across Ukraine on Monday morning threatened to escalate a war that had already killed and injured tens of thousands of people since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the rush hour attacks appeared to have been deliberately timed to kill people and knock out electricity.
Kyiv says 11 primary infrastructure targets were hit in eight regions, leaving swathes of the country with no power, water, or heat ahead of winter.
Western leaders condemned the attacks. Among them was U.S. President Joe Biden, who said the missile strikes across Ukraine launched by President Putin of Russia served no military purpose and again demonstrated “the utter brutality of Mr. Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people.”
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