President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said on Monday that people had been killed and injured in several rocket attacks on cities across Ukraine, including the first bombing of the capital in months. The strikes could signal a major escalation in eight months old war.

“The air raid sirens around Ukraine do not stop… Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded. Please do not leave the shelters,” Zelenskyy said on social media, accusing Russia of wanting to “wipe us off the face of the earth.”

The blasts came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kyiv of a massive and explosion on the 12-mile long bridge connecting Crimea with Russia. Crimea is a large Ukrainian peninsula than Russia occupied and then unilaterally annexed eight years ago during the previous invasion. Annexation of that territory, as Putin’s recent land grab of four Ukrainian regions that he declared Russian soil last week were condemned as illegitimate and illegal by Ukraine, the UN, the US and other Ukrainian partners.

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Rescue workers examine the site of a Russian attack on Kyiv, Ukraine, October 10, 2022. After months of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital, several explosions rocked the city early this morning.

Adam Schreck/AP

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential office, said on social media on Monday that “Ukraine is under missile attack. There is information about attacks in many cities of our country.”

General Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said on Twitter that Russia had fired 75 missiles into Ukraine, but that “41 of them were neutralized by our air defenses.”

Zelenskyy later emerged on a street in Kyiv to shoot a selfie video with a message to his people and the world, condemning Russia for a barrage of missiles he said targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and its civilians.

“They specifically chose such a time and such targets to cause as much damage as possible,” the president said. “But we Ukrainians help each other, trust each other, rebuild everything. Now there may be a lack of electricity, but not a lack of our defiance and confidence in our victory.”

In Kiev, reporters from the French news agency AFP heard at least five explosions in two volleys on Monday morning, and a BBC News reporter took cover when a massive explosion hit him in mid-air. Some of the rockets hit the center of the capital. Previous attacks have largely targeted the suburbs of Kyiv.

Videos posted on social media showed black smoke rising over several areas of the city. The last Russian strike on the capital was on June 26.

Russia launches deadly strikes in Ukraine after battlefield setbacks


Other major cities hit by explosions on Monday include Lviv in Ukraine’s far west, which is home to many people fleeing fighting in the east.

The foreign minister of Moldova, a small nation that straddles Ukraine’s southwestern border, said three cruise missiles “from Russian ships in the Black Sea” flew through Moldovan airspace as they headed toward Ukraine on Monday morning.

Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu he added in his message on Twitter that he “ordered the Russian ambassador to be summoned to give an explanation.”


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Witnesses also reported a loud explosion Monday morning in Russia’s Belgorod region, which lies right next to Ukraine’s eastern border. One witness told Reuters there was a loud bang and the windows shook. The cause of the explosion was not clear.

The blasts came a day after Putin said Ukraine was behind an explosion on the Kerch bridge linking Crimea with Russia that left three dead.

“The authors, perpetrators and sponsors are the Ukrainian secret services,” Putin said of Saturday’s bridge bombing, which he described as a “terrorist act.”

The Crimean bridge, a key supply route in Russia’s war in Ukraine, destroyed


Putin spoke during a meeting with the head of the investigative committee he set up to look into the bombing, Russian news agencies said. The Russian leader was preparing for a meeting with his Security Council later on Monday, the Kremlin told local news agencies.

“Tomorrow, the president has a scheduled meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The blast that hit the bridge sparked celebrations among Ukrainians and others on social media. But Zelenskyy did not directly mention the incident in his Saturday night speech, and officials in Kyiv did not directly claim responsibility.

Russia said on Saturday that some road and rail traffic had been restored across the strategic link, a powerful symbol of the Kremlin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. The bridge served as a vital supply link between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula during its current invasion of southern and eastern Ukraine.

Some military analysts say the explosion could have a big impact if Moscow feels the need to move already hard-pressed troops to Crimea from other regions — or if it prompts a rush by residents to leave.

Mick Ryan, a former senior Australian officer now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that even if Kyiv was not behind the blast, it represented a “massive operational victory for Ukraine.

“This is a demonstration to the Russians and the rest of the world that the Russian military cannot protect any of the provinces it recently annexed,” he said on Twitter.

Rescuers gather near a residential building damaged after a strike in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, October 9, 2022.


Meanwhile, Zelenskyy condemned a A Russian missile attack on Sunday killed at least 17 people in Zaporozhye, the latest deadly bombing of a southern Ukrainian city. The attack also injured 89 people, according to a statement from the presidential office.

Zelenskyy described “merciless attacks on peaceful people” and residential buildings as “absolute evil” perpetrated by “savages and terrorists”.

Regional official Oleksandr Starukh posted pictures of heavily damaged apartment buildings on social media and said a rescue operation had been launched to find victims under the rubble.

Meanwhile, Russian officials on Sunday condemned what they said was an increase in Ukrainian fire on their territory, which hit homes, administrative buildings and a monastery.

Russia’s FBS, which is responsible for border security, said on Sunday: “Since the beginning of October, the number of attacks by Ukrainian armed formations on Russian border territory has increased significantly.”

More than 100 artillery strikes, concentrated in the western border regions of Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk, hit residential and administrative buildings, the statement said. The attacks killed one person and injured five others.



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