LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s defence ministry said it hit “all designated targets” in a massive missile attack on Ukrainian military, communications and energy infrastructure on Monday.
Russia said the goals of the missile strikes had been achieved, in one of the largest coordinated Russian attacks against Ukraine since the first weeks of the war. Ukraine said the rush-hour attacks in eight regions appeared to have been deliberately timed to kill people, accusing Russia of terrorism.
“Today, Russia’s armed forces have inflicted a massive strike with high-precision long-range weapons against Ukrainian military, communications and energy targets,” the Russian defence ministry said in its daily briefing.
“The goal of the strike has been achieved. All designated targets were hit,” it added.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin said the attacks were retaliation for what he called Ukraine’s “terrorist attack” against a vital bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula. He promised a “harsh” response to any further such attacks.
Ukrainian officials have exulted in the bombing of the bridge but have not claimed responsibility for it. Ukraine says it is Russia that is using terror tactics in the war.
Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine was celebrated by pro-war figures in Russia. The Russian-installed governor of Crimea said Russia would have already won its “special military operation” had such strikes been carried out every day.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechnya region who has been outspoken in his criticism of Russia’s military leadership and repeatedly called for a more aggressive campaign, said he was “100% satisfied” with the strikes.
Ukraine said it was seeking a “resolute response” from the United Nations and the West in response to the attacks.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the strikes, which hit the centre of Kyiv and several other Ukrainian cities, showed Russia was trying to “wipe us off the face of the earth.”