KYIV, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Several explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the cities of Lviv, Ternopil and Dnipro on Monday, after Russia accused Ukraine of orchestrating a powerful blast that damaged a key bridge linking Russia and Crimea.
Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne quoted emergency services as saying there were dead and wounded in Kyiv but gave no further details of casualties.
“Several explosions in the Shevchenskivskyi district – in the centre of the capital,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app. “Details later.”
Kyiv, other Ukraine cities hit by Russian missiles at rush hour
Video shows immediate aftermath of Kyiv blasts
Attacks across Ukrainian cities during Monday rush hour
‘They are trying to destroy us,’ says Zelenskiy
Apparent revenge for explosion on Crimea bridge
Ukraine says 11 major infrastructure targets hit
Power, water, heat knocked out in swaths of country
KYIV, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Russia pounded cities across Ukraine during rush hour on Monday morning, killing civilians and knocking out power and heat, in apparent revenge strikes after President Vladimir Putin declared a blast on Russia’s bridge to Crimea to be a terrorist attack.
Cruise missiles tore into busy intersections, parks and tourist sites in the centre of downtown Kyiv with an intensity unseen even when Russian forces attempted to capture the capital early in the war.
Explosions were also reported in Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in Ukraine’s west, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv in the east.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the rush hour attacks appeared to have been deliberately timed to kill people as well as to knock out electricity.
His prime minister said 11 major infrastructure targets were hit in eight regions, leaving swaths of the country with no power, water or heat.
In Kyiv, the body of a man in jeans lay in a street at a major intersection, surrounded by flaming cars. In a park, a soldier cut through the clothes of a woman who lay in the grass to try to treat her wounds. Two other women were bleeding nearby.
A huge crater gaped next to a children’s playground in a central Kyiv park. The remains of an apparent missile were buried, smoking in the mud.
More volleys of missiles struck the capital again later in the morning. Pedestrians huddled for shelter at the entrance of Metro stations and inside parking garages.
By mid-morning, Ukraine’s defence ministry said Russia had fired 81 cruise missiles, and Ukraine’s air defences had shot down 43 of them. Kyiv city police said at least five people had been killed and 12 wounded in the capital.
Security camera footage posted online showed shrapnel and flames engulfing a glass-bottomed footbridge across a wooded valley in the city centre, one of Kyiv’s most popular tourist sites, and one pedestrian running away from the blast. Reuters later saw a huge crater beneath the bridge, which was damaged but remained standing.