Deadly explosions hit Kyiv after Putin blames Ukraine for bridge blast
Explosions were reported in central Kyiv and across Ukraine on Monday, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukrainian special services for the explosion of a bridge linking mainland Russia to Crimea.
Details: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram there were "missiles hitting" across Ukraine as he accused Russian forces of trying to "wipe us off the face of the Earth," adding: "Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded."
Zoom in: Rostislav Smirnov, an adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs, said in a Telegram post at least eight people had been killed and 24 others injured in the Kyiv blasts.
- Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said on Telegram there were several explosions in the capital's Shevchenkiv and Solomyan districts. "The capital is under attack from Russian terrorists," he said. "The air alert, and therefore the threat, continues."
Zoom out: In addition to the first explosions to rock Kyiv in months, blasts were also reported in Lviv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Odessa, Khmelnytskyi, Mykolaiv, and Zhytomyr, according to Telegram posts by Ukrainian officials and local media.
What they're saying: Bridget Brink, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, tweeted: "Multiple strikes in central Kyiv and across Ukraine this morning. Russia escalates its barrage of attacks on Ukrainian civilians."
- Zelensky said on Telegram, "They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the Earth. Destroy our people who are sleeping at home in Zaporizhzhia. Kill people who go to work in Dnipro and Kyiv."
The big picture: The blasts came as Putin was due to meet with his national security council to discuss Saturday's Kerch bridge blast, which he labeled an "act of terror" that he blamed on the Ukrainian special services.
- Ukrainian officials have not claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.