Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Ukraine had committed “terrorist acts” against Russia and promised a “harsh response” from Moscow.
In televised remarks, Putin said Moscow launched long-range missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy, military, and communications infrastructure on Monday in retaliation for a weekend attack on the bridge connecting Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula.
As 75 missiles rained down across Ukraine, five Ukrainian cities were targeted in coordinated retaliation attacks.
Along with Kyiv, the cities of Lviv, Ternopil, Zaporizhzhia, and Dnipro were shelled, prompting calls for vengeance from Russian hardliners.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said Russia was attempting to wipe his country “off the face of the earth,” and he confirmed that people had died in the attacks.
The shelling in Kyiv, the first in months, comes after Russian officials said a truck explosion caused the weekend blast on the bridge connecting Crimea to Russia. Some analysts believe it could have been caused by a missile strike.