The attack comes two days after Russia accused Ukraine of a drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the annexed Crimean peninsula.
KYIV, Ukraine – A massive barrage of Russian strikes on Monday morning hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities in apparent retaliation for what Moscow called a Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea Fleet during the weekend.
Loud explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital early in the morning as residents prepared to go to work. Some of them received text messages from the emergency services about the threat of a missile attack, and the air raid sirens blared for three hours straight.
As a result, large areas of the city were cut off from electricity and water, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Local authorities were working to restore a damaged energy facility that supplies electricity to 350,000 apartments in the capital, he said.
In Kharkiv, two strikes affected critical infrastructure, authorities said, and the metro stopped working. Officials also warned of possible power outages in the city of Zaporizhzhia resulting from the strikes.
Critical infrastructure objects were also hit in the Cherkasy region, southeast of Kyiv, and explosions were reported in other parts of Ukraine. In the Kirovohrad region in central Ukraine, the power plant was hit, according to local authorities. In Vinnytsia, a missile that was shot down landed on civilian buildings, causing damage but no casualties, according to regional governor Serhii Borzov.
Parts of Ukrainian Railways were also cut off from power, Ukrainian Railways reported.
The attack comes two days after Russia accused Ukraine of a drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the annexed Crimean peninsula. Ukraine has denied the attack, saying Russia mismanaged its own weapons, but Moscow still announced it was halting its participation in a UN-brokered agreement allow the safe passage of vessels carrying grain from Ukraine.
Commenting on Monday’s attacks, Ukrainian presidential office chief Andriy Yermak said Russian forces “continue to fight with civilian installations.”
“We will persevere and generations of Russians will pay a heavy price for their disgrace,” Yermak said.
This is the second time this month that Russia has unleashed a massive barrage of strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. On October 10, a similar attack rocked the war-torn country following an explosion at the Kerch Bridge linking annexed Crimea with mainland Russia – an incident Moscow blamed on Kyiv.
Deputy head of the presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said urgent power cuts were underway after “Russian terrorists again launched a massive attack on energy facilities in a number of Ukrainian regions”.