Following an explosion on the Kerch bridge, which connects Russia and Crimea, Moscow retaliated against Ukraine with a new wave of attacks on civilians throughout the country. For months, the capital of Kyiv was spared from the worst of Russia’s attacks, but over the weekend, there was no safe harbor in the war-torn country. Over the past few days, Russian politicians and Kremlin allies have called on the “Special Military Operation” to be escalated to a “Counter Terrorism Operation” as Ukraine’s saboteurs continue to strike at the heart of the Russian Federation.
October 10, 2022
Russian attacks a sign of ‘weakness,’ Ukrainian governor tells DW
Vitaliy Kim, the govenor of the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolaiv, told DW that Russia’s overnight air strikes across Ukraine are “a demonstration of weakness of the Russian army because they understood that they are losing their position.”
Russia is “losing their position not only on the battlefield, but in the whole world,” Kim said.
The regional governor played down the prospect of a new top Russian commander altering the course of the war.
“I think it will change nothing because Russian army is very corrupt and weak and they have no motivation. They are the occupiers,” he told DW.
US condemns ‘utter brutality’ of strikes
Washington has joined the widespread condemnation of Russia’s assault on Ukrainian cities with President Joe Biden saying the strikes “demonstrate the utter brutality” of Russia’s “illegal war.”
“These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose,” he said. “We will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also reiterated his country’s “support for Ukraine following the Kremlin’s horrific strike this morning.”
“We will continue to provide unwavering economic, humanitarian, and security assistance so Ukraine can defend itself and take care of its people,” Blinken said in a tweet, adding that he’d spoken with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
The leaders of the G7 countries are set to hold a video call on Tuesday, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, following Russia’s large-scale attack, as well as its illegal annexation of several Ukrainian territories.
UN slams Russian strikes as ‘unacceptable escalation’
The multiple strikes that have targeted cities across Ukraine amount to an “unacceptable escalation of the war,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said, according to his spokesperson.
“The Secretary-General is deeply shocked by today’s large-scale missile attacks by the armed forces of the Russian Federation on cities across Ukraine that reportedly resulted in widespread damage to civilian areas and led to dozens of people being killed and injured,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
“This constitutes another unacceptable escalation of the war and, as always, civilians are paying the highest price,” he added.
The UN General Assembly is set to meet for an urgent meeting on Monday evening that was called following Russia’s illegal annexation of eastern Ukrainian territories. The debate will be followed by a vote to officially condemn the seizure of land.
Cities hit as fleeing Ukrainians return
DW correspondent Fanny Facsar was in Kyiv during the strikes. She described the “debris” and “huge crater” that she saw at one of the sites where missiles struck — a busy road that lots of people use every day.
She explained that while on the scene, air raid sirens began to ring out as further missiles began to strike the city. Ukrainian authorities have told people to stay inside their shelters amid fears that the air strikes could start up again, she said.
More than 80 strikes were reported, Facsar said, of which around half were intercepted.
She said that sources in the cities of Lviv and Khmelnytskyy had reported “having no running water, no electricity, no access to internet,” and pointed to Zelenskyy’s comments that Russia is targeting civilian areas as well as critical infrastructure.
The strikes happened, Facsar said, “when a lot of people are coming back to Ukraine.” People living in the big cities far from the front line had started to feel “quite safe,” she added.
Ukrainian authorities say 11 killed in Russian strikes
Ukraine’s State Emergency Services said at least 11 people have been killed and more than 60 wounded in Russian missile strikes on several Ukrainian cities Monday.
The strikes are the largest coordinated assault on Ukrainian cities since the early days of the war. The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes targeted Ukraine’s military command and communication facilities and energy infrastructure.
At least six people were killed in Kyiv when missiles struck several locations in the city center during morning rush hour. Officials in the central city of Dnipro said four people were killed.
The leader of Ukraine’s armed forces, Valeriy Zaluzhny, said around 75 Russian missiles were launched, of which more than 40 were shot down by Ukrainian forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian forces had also used Iran-built armed attack drones.
Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that 11 major infrastructure targets were hit in eight regions, causing widespread disruption to electricity, water and communications.
Emergency services wrote on Telegram that the regions of Lviv, Poltava, Sumy and Ternopil currently have no electricity following the strikes, with other regions experiencing partial disruptions.
EU says Russia strike amounts to ‘war crime’
The EU condemned Russian missile strikes on Ukraine Monday as “indiscriminately targeting people in a cowardly, heinous hail of missiles on civilian targets.”
Peter Stano, spokesman for the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, told a press briefing the Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure were “against international humanitarian law.”
The “indiscriminate targeting of civilians amounts to a war crime,” he added.
Borrell said in a tweet that Russia’s actions have “no place in the 21st century” promising more military support for Ukraine was “on its way.”
The message was mirrored by EU Council President Charles Michel who said, “These indiscriminate attacks on civilians are war crimes.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was “shocked and appalled” by the strikes.
“Russia once again has shown to the world what it stands for… terror and brutality,” von der Leyen said at an appearance in the Estonian city of Narva on the Russian border alongside Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
Germany to send Ukraine air defense systems
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Germany will deliver the first of four “IRIS-T SLM” air defense system within days.
“The renewed missile fire on Kyiv and the many other cities show how important it is to supply Ukraine with air defense systems quickly,” Lambrecht said in a statement.
“Russia’s attacks with missiles and drones terrorize the civilian population,” the statement added.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Monday that Germany would do “everything it can” to help quickly bolster Ukraine’s air defenses.
“It is despicable and unjustifiable for Putin to bombard large cities and civilians with missiles,” Baerbock wrote on Twitter.
In June, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had promised to provide air defense systems to Ukraine.
The IRIS-T SLM can defend from approaching missiles at an altitude of up to 20 kilometers and a distance up to 40 kilometers.
According to Scholz, the defense system makes it possible to protect “an entire major city from Russian air attacks.”
Meanwhile, the German Foreign Ministry said a large building housing a German consulate in Kyiv was damaged by Russian air strikes, but the office has not been in use since the war broke out.
Russia’s Putin vows further ‘severe’ retaliation to Ukrainian attacks
Russian President Vladimir Putin told a Russian security council meeting on Monday that Russia had launched strikes targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure in response to Ukraine’s “terrorist” actions.
Putin said this included an explosion that damaged the Kerch Bridge to Crimea, which Moscow has blamed on Ukrainian special forces. He added the Russian response to more Ukrainian attacks would be “severe.”
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the goals of strikes on Ukraine’s military command and communication facilities and energy infrastructure “have been fulfilled,” without providing details.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal had earlier said that 11 major infrastructure targets were hit in eight regions, causing widespread disruption to electricity, water and communications.
Ukraine’s Zelenskyy urges ‘tough’ response in talks with European leaders
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter that he agreed with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on holding an urgent meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) nations in response to Russia’s missile strikes on Monday.
The German government condemned Monday’s attacks, and vowed continued support of Ukraine. A G7 video conference with Zelenskyy as a guest is planned for Tuesday, a spokesman said.
The Ukrainian president said he has prepared a speech addressing the Russian attacks, increasing pressure on Moscow and securing aid for restoring damaged infrastructure.
Zelenskyy also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on the need for strengthening Ukrainian air defenses, as well as coordinating a “tough” European and international response.
Moldova says Russian missiles crossed its airspace
Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said that three Russian cruise missiles fired at Ukrainian targets from Russian ships in the Black Sea crossed Moldova’s airspace Monday morning.
Moldova, which borders Ukraine’s southwest, said it was summoning the Russian ambassador for an explanation.
Popescu added Moldova condemned in the “strongest possible terms” the violation of its airspace and also condemned “Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine.”
Zelenskyy confirms deaths in blasts
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram Monday that people have been killed and wounded in explosions across Ukraine, adding that Russia is trying to wipe the country “off the face of the earth.”
Rostyslav Smirnov, an adviser to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, said at least eight people were killed and 24 injured in one of the strikes on Kyiv, according to preliminary information.
Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko posted photos on his Telegram channel of people taking shelter in a subway station, and a missile strike hitting a pedestrian bridge in Kyiv.
He added a children’s playground in Kyiv was hit by the missile fire.
Kyiv, other Ukrainian cities hit by explosions
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said multiple blasts hit a central district in the Ukrainian capital on Monday morning.
“Several explosions in the Shevchenkivskyi district — in the center of the capital. All services are going to the places,” he wrote on Telegram.
The district houses a university, several government offices and foreign consular buildings, and also includes the historic old town.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that 11 major infrastructure targets were hit in eight regions, causing widespread disruption to electricity, water and communications.
Eyewitnesses in Kyiv told Reuters news agency an explosion left a massive crater at one of the capital’s busiest intersections, with emergency workers treating wounded people in the street.
The blasts come after months of relative calm in the capital, which has been spared most of the fighting that has raged in Ukraine’s east.
Meanwhile, an air raid alert is in effect for cities across Ukraine, with residents advised to take shelter. The blasts occurred as many people were heading to work.
The Ukrainian presidency said there were explosions in “many” other Ukrainian cities Monday morning.
Authorities reported explosions in the western city of Lviv and the central city of Dnipro.
The governor of Lviv, Maksym Kozytskyi, said in a statement strikes had targeted “energy infrastructure” facilities near the city.
Southeastern Dnipropetrovsk regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said several people were killed and injured following attacks around the industrial city of Dnipro.
“Ukraine is under missile attack,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said on social media, advising people to take shelter.
General Valeriy Zaluzhny, the head of Ukraine’s armed forces, wrote on social media that Russian forces launched at least 75 missiles toward targets in Ukraine, 45 of which were shot down by air defenses.
Zaluzhny added Russian “attack drones” were also deployed.
Putin calls bridge blast ‘act of terrorism’
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kerch Bridge explosion was a “terrorist attack” orchestrated by Ukraine. He is to hold a meeting of his security council on Monday.
“There is no doubt. This is an act of terrorism aimed at destroying critically important civilian infrastructure. This was devised, carried out and ordered by the Ukrainian special services,” Putin said in a video on the Kremlin’s Telegram channel.
Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said to TASS news agency, “Russia can only respond to this crime by directly killing terrorists, as is the custom elsewhere in the world. This is what Russian citizens expect.”
The Kerch Bridge is a key link between Russia and Crimea, built after Moscow illegally annexed the territory in 2014. It is also an artery for the port of Sevastopol, where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based.
Putin met Sunday with Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, who said the explosion on the bridge was caused by a vehicle that had traveled through Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, North Ossetia and Russia’s Krasnodar region.
Ukrainian special services were helped by Russians as well as other foreign nationals, he said in a video posted on Telegram.
Russian forces advancing toward Bakhmut, says UK intelligence
Over the past week, Russian troops have advanced 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) toward the strategically important town of Bakhmut, according to a daily British intelligence briefing.
“Russia continues to give high priority to its own offensive operations in the central Donbas sector, especially near the town of Bakhmut,” the report said.
On Friday, Russia-backed separatist forces said they had captured several villages in the vicinity of Bakhmut. On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said troops were involved in very tough fighting near the town.
Bakhmut is located on a main road leading to the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
UN General Assembly to open debate on Russia annexations
The UN General Assembly on Monday is set to open a debate on a draft resolution condemning Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions.
In violation of international law, Moscow claimed Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson as part of Russia following sham referendums in the regions.
After the debate, the 193 UN members are set to vote on the resolution, with no country wielding veto power. The matter is being brought to the General Assembly after Russia used its veto power to block a similar proposal in a Security Council meeting.
“Unless the UN system and the international community through the General Assembly react to this kind of illegal attempt, then we would be in a very, very bad place,” Swedish diplomat Olof Skoog who was involved in drafting the text, told reporters.
A failure by the General Assembly to act would give “carte blanche to other countries to do likewise or to give recognition to what Russia has done,” he added.
Overnight shelling in Zaporizhzhia destroys building
Shelling of the city of Zaporizhzhia overnight has destroyed an apartment building and caused injuries, Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the broader Zaporizhzhia region said early on Monday.
“As a result of a missile attack in the centre of Zaporizhzhia, a multi-story residential building was destroyed again,” Starukh said on Telegram.
Earlier on Sunday, another strike killed at least 13 and injured 87.
Photo: Adam Schreck/AP Photo