[guest post by Dana]
Massive Russian strikes hit Kyiv and other cities just days after Ukrainian forces took out the critical Kerch Strait Bridge that linked Crimea to Russia. President Putin confirmed that the attacks were in retaliation to the destruction of the bridge. Russia’s attacks killed 11 and injured 87:
Moscow fired at least 84 cruise missiles toward Ukraine on Monday, the Ukrainian military said, 43 of which were neutralized by missile defense systems. Twenty-four Russian attack drones were also used in the salvo, 13 of which were destroyed.
It comes two days after an eruption damaged a crucial bridge to Crimea and dealt a strategic blow to the Kremlin. A wounded Vladimir Putin, who has also seen weeks of Russian losses on the battlefield, had been under pressure to respond with force following the explosion, which Putin on Sunday blamed on Kyiv and described as an act of terror.
“It is simply impossible to leave such crimes unanswered,” Putin said in a brief television appearance on Monday. “If attempts to carry out terrorist attacks on our territory continue, responses from Russia will be tough and will correspond in scale to the level of threats to the Russian Federation.”
Warning of future attacks was Dmitry Medvedev, acting deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council:
The first act has been performed…there will be more attacks…Ukraine poses a “constant, direct, and clear” threat to Russia.
President Zelensky responded to the attacks:
According to Zelensky, Russia aims to destroy Ukraine’s energy system and to cause panic and chaos among people.
“They purposefully chose such a time and such targets to cause as much damage as possible,” he said.
Russian forces struck energy infrastructure facilities in Kyiv, Khmelnytskyi, Lviv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad oblasts and in the south of Ukraine, according to the President.
“There may be temporary power outages now, but there will never be interruptions in our confidence in (Ukraine’s) victory,” added Zelensky.
Thus far, Zelensky has conferred with the leaders of the U.S., France, England, Poland, the European Commission President, and others who continued to pledge their support of Ukraine.
President Biden said reassured Ukraine of our support, saying:
[O]nce again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people. We offer our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who were senselessly killed today, as well as our best wishes for the recovery of those who were wounded. These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. Alongside our allies and partners, we will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression, hold Putin and Russia accountable for its atrocities and war crimes, and provide the support necessary for Ukrainian forces to defend their country and their freedom.
As a result of the hits, Ukraine will stop exporting electricity to the EU: Russia’s mass missile strike on Ukraine that struck heat generation and electrical substations on Oct. 10 forced the country to stop exporting its electricity to the European Union in order to stabilize its own grid starting Oct. 11, the Ministry of Energy said.
Two additional updates:
Two well known activists and politicians crowdfunded a “revenge” campaign to help Ukraine. In a mere 6 hours they raised $5.7 million. They say the goal is to “buy Ukrainian-made RAM ІІ kamikaze drones for the army.”
Also, as a result of the attacks, Zelensky is set to speak at an emergency G7 meeting today.