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Missile strikes hit Kyiv after Putin pledged revenge for Crimea bridge blast

Jimie 2022. 10. 10. 16:24

Multiple explosions rock Kyiv: Missile strikes hit capital for the first time in months after Putin pledged revenge for Crimea bridge blast branding it an 'act of terrorism' by Ukraine - but Kremlin denies planning nuclear retaliation

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin says the explosion at the Kerch bridge in Crimea was 'an act of terrorism'
  • The president said yesterday the blast was 'devised, carried out and ordered by the Ukrainian special services'
  • He made the statement before he is due to meet with his top defence chiefs in his Security Council later today
  • But this morning a series of blasts rocked Kyiv after months of comparative calm in the Ukraine capital
  • The Kremlin has played down fears of a nuclear response, saying these are 'completely incorrect'


PUBLISHED: 17:01 AEDT, 10 October 2022 | UPDATED: 17:48 AEDT, 10 October 2022

Ukraine's capital has been hit by multiple missiles this morning amid reports of blasts in two other cities as Vladimir Putin revenge for an explosion which crippled the Crimea Bridge got underway.

A number of people were killed and hurt in the Kyiv strikes, officials said, though the exact toll is currently unclear. One missile struck close to a monument to Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, a Ukrainian statesman, while another hit the Shevchenkivskyy district - both in the centre of the city. Videos showed cars on fire in the streets.

Meanwhile there were reports of further strikes on the city of Zaporizhzhia - where more than 40 people have been killed by shelling in recent days - and Dnipro, in central Ukraine.


It is the first time in months that Kyiv has been directly struck and it comes as Vladimir Putin meets with his security council today to plot his revenge for a bomb blast at the weekend that crippled the Kerch Bridge from Russia to Crimea. Putin has blamed the blast on Ukraine, and described it as an 'act of terror'.

Supporters of the Russian president had called on the despot to 'stop talking' and 'painfully beat' the Kyiv regime ahead of his Security Council meeting, despite the Kremlin playing down fears of a nuclear response.

Ukrainian civilians had been warned by the deputy governor of Russia's southern Stavropol region Valery Chernitsov to expect a critical response.

In a menacing video posted on Twitter, he said: 'Ukrainians, leave your cities, especially the large ones. Because a big surprise is waiting for you. Sarmat missiles are ready to strike.'

But it was Putin's former adviser Sergei Markov, who urged his former chief to 'punish' Ukraine as well as its allies, following the destruction of the Kerch bridge in Crimea, the Telegraph reports.

'It's time for Russia to stop talking and instead begin silently and painfully beating them,' he said, sparking fears over how Putin will react.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky hit back at his counterpart's terror claims, highlighting Russian missile strikes on Zaporizhzhia which he says have killed at least 43 people this week alone.

In a video addressing the world, the Kyiv leader said: 'The constant terror against the civilian population is an obvious Russian refusal to engage in real negotiations.

'Terrorism is a crime that must be punished. Terrorism at the state level is one of the most heinous international crimes, which threatens not just someone in the world, but the entire international community.'

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Mayor Vitalii Klitchko reported explosions in the city's central Shevchenko district. There were no immediate reports of casualties

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Kyiv was rocked by a series of blasts this morning as Putin's revenge attack for the Crimea bridge blast began earlier

Putin seethes as he decries 'Ukrainian attack' on Crimean bridge
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A stern-looking Vladimir Putin (pictured) was pictured meeting Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, in St. Petersburg, yesterday. The Russian president has branded an attack on the Kerch bridge as 'terrorism'

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The livid Russian president, who is leading a Security Council meeting today, said the blast at the Kerch bridge (pictured) was designed to destroy 'critically important civilian infrastructure

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Putin's former adviser Sergei Markov (pictured) has called on the despot to 'stop talking' and 'painfully beat' the Kyiv regime

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Alexander Bastrykin (pictured), head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg. After the meeting Putin said the attack on the Kerch bridge had been carried out by Ukrainian special forces

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will chair a meeting with his Security Council today, two days after a huge blast ripped through Russia's Crimea bridge, the Kremlin told local news agencies

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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via a video link in Moscow on September 29, 2022, just one day before he formally annexed four regions of southeastern Ukraine

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A view shows a fire on the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, October 8, 2022, in this screen grab from a handout video

Putin looks to be thinking about changing the way his regime is run as he responds to the humiliating counter-offensive from Kyiv forces.

After he instantly replaced his top commander with the infamous Sergei Surokivin, there is speculation he could now sack defence minister Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, the chief of staff, despite them remaining by his side for the past decade.

It is a dangerous sign that Mr Surokivin has been called up to the Russian president's sign, considering his brutal tactics in Syria as well as his history in firing democracy protesters in the 90s.

Russian officials are now expecting retaliation of the highest order to the bridge attack. Alexander Baskin, a Russian senator, confidently suggested that the Kremlin's response would be 'adequate, conscious and possibly asymmetric', the Mirror reports.

He added: 'This was a declaration of war without rules.'

A red-faced Putin yesterday blamed Ukrainian special forces for the explosion which severely damaged the key link to the Russian mainland.

The livid Russian president said the blast at the Kerch bridge was designed to destroy 'critically important civilian infrastructure'.

He declared that the attack was a terrorist incident, a move that could open the door for further escalation in the war that has raged in Ukraine since Russia's illegal invasion in February.

Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, said among other things the authoritarian leader could order the indescriminate shelling of Ukrainian cities and could even 'go nuclear'.

However, the Kremlin has played down fears from some Western observers that it could use nuclear weapons in retalation, saying it is 'completely incorrect' that it is considering using them in response.

Russian governors have threatened revenge missile attacks after the destruction of the bridge on Saturday morning, which was considered to be one of his pet projects.

There will be clamouring from within the country for a decisive strike back against Ukraine as it reels from the destruction of what had been a symbol of Russian power in Crimea following its annexation of the peninsula in 2014.

The bridge, which spans 19km from Crimea to the Russian mainland, has been used as one of the main supply routes for Russian troops since the illegal invasion earlier this year, allowing Putin to resupply and back up forces occupying Kherson and other southern regions of Ukraine.

Its destruction in a huge blast in the early hours of Saturday morning was a huge blow to the Russian war effort and was a slap in the face for the Russian president.

Zelensky: Russia should be designated a terrorist state
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Russia has said the truck responsible for the explosion potentially travelled from Bulgaria, through Armenia, Georgia and southern Russia before reaching the bridge

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The Kerch Bridge is the only direct link between Russia and Crimea and is a crucial supply line for Russian forces in Ukraine

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Russian propaganda had claimed the Crimean bridge was impossible to attack because of 20 different kinds of security protecting it, including military dolphins

In a video released on the Kremlin's Telegram channel yesterday, Putin laid the blame at Ukrainian special forces while meeting with Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia's Investigative Committee, who was presenting findings of an inquiry into Saturday's explosion and fire on the bridge.

The Russian president said: 'There is no doubt. This is an act of terrorism aimed at destroying critically important civilian infrastructure. This was devised, carried out and ordered by the Ukrainian special services.'

Mr Bastrykin said he had opened a criminal case into an act of terrorism and added that while Ukrainian soldier had taken part, citizens of Russia and other countries also took part in the act.

Chancellor Scholz and President Biden criticise Kremlin's nuclear threats

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke by phone on Sunday and agreed the Kremlin's latest nuclear threats were 'irresponsible' and its partial mobilization 'a serious mistake', according to a German government statement.

The nearly one-hour telephone call was focused on preparations for the upcoming Group of Seven and Group of 20 meetings that will address Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the consequences, the statement said.

The two leaders agreed never to accept Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory, calling it a further escalation, the statement said.

They agreed Russia's partial mobilization showed the 'bitter price' Russians were having to pay for the miscalculations of President Vladimir Putin.

'They criticized the latest nuclear threats of Moscow as irresponsible and agreed such a step would have exceptionally serious consequences for Russia,' the statement said.

On the topic of the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines, the two leaders agreed the sabotage of critical infrastructure would be dealt with decisively, it said.


He said investigations 'have already established the route of the truck' that Russian authorities said set off a bomb and explosion on the bridge.

Mr Bastrykin said the truck had been to Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, North Ossetia, Krasnodar (a region in southern Russia) and other places.

Today Putin will chair the meeting with his Security Council (SCRF) as he looks to formulate a response to the latest setback in his ill-judged war.

The council, which is comprised of the nation's top defence officials and heads of security agencies, who come together to support the Russian president - the overall chair of the council - on policy decisions.

'Tomorrow the president has a planned meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.

Embattled defence minister Sergei Shoigu will be in attendance alongside the head of Russia's FSB domestic intelligence service Aleksandr Bortnikov and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

SCRF meetings typically come as a reaction to important geopolitical events concerning national security, but can also indicate that Putin is on the cusp of making a major decision.

The Russian president chaired a meeting of the SCRF just days prior to the invasion of Ukraine, raising fears that Monday's meeting could signify a impending escalation in the conflict.

He will look for a strong response after the embarassing destruction of a bridge that Russian propoganda had claimed could not be destroyed as it was protected by 20 different kinds of security including military dolphins, war ships, aircraft and ground troops

The former head of the British Army, General Lord Richard Dannatt, warned that Putin could now opt for the Armageddon approach after the Kremlin previously insisted that an attack on Crimea would 'cross a red line'.

However, the country has once again denied this will happen, saying suggestions it could use nuclear weapons after designating the attack an act of terrorism 'completely incorrect'.

The 12 mile long bridge over the Kerch strait links Crimea to the Russian mainland and is a major artery for Putin's forces that control most of southern Ukraine's Kherson region and for the Russian naval port of Sevastopol.


It was damaged in an explosion early Saturday morning which saw chunks of the bridge fall into the sea and a large fire break out.

The incident prompted gleeful messages from Ukrainian officials - though no claim of responsibility - and video footage of the bridge appeared to show a mysterious wave crest underneath the structure moments before the blast, prompting speculation that a Ukrainian-piloted boat or drone was likely behind it.

Who is on Russia's security council?

Russia's security council is chaired by Vladimir Putin who appoints its members.

Several top officials in Russia's parliament, security services, defence ministry and other functions may be summoned intermittently, but the council maintains 12 permanent members, plus chairman Putin:

  • Dmitry Medvedev - Deputy Chairman of the Security Council
  • Mikhail Mishustin - Prime Minister
  • Valentina Matviyenko - Chairwoman of the Council of Federation
  • Sergei Naryshkin - Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)
  • Vyacheslav Volodin - State Duma Speaker
  • Anton Vaino - Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office
  • Sergei Ivanov - Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport
  • Nikolai Patrushev - Secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council
  • Sergei Shoigu - Defence Minister
  • Sergei Lavrov - Foreign Minister
  • Vladimir Kolokoltsev - Interior Minister
  • Aleksandr Bortnikov - Director of the Federal Security Service

Russia meanwhile claimed a truck bomb had exploded, and has not apportioned blame for the damage.

The meeting of the security council today comes as top Putin propagandists and Russian regional governors called for total war in Ukraine in response to the bridge explosion.

Leading Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov demanded a brutal Stalinist response to 'plunge Ukraine into dark times' and round up all Russians against total war in the wake of the humiliating hit on the bridge.

Alluding to an enemy within, Solovyov called for a return of the notorious Stalin-era SMERSH counter-intelligence to crush all internal opposition to a full-scale war against Ukraine.

SMERSH, whose motto was 'Death to Spies', was a conglomeration of counterintelligence agencies used by Stalin to root out and obliterate those trying to subvert his regime during and after World War II.

Crimea's Russian-installed governor Sergei Aksyonov declared there is a 'healthy desire to seek revenge' following the explosion which destroyed parts of the Kerch bridge yesterday morning and killed three people.

Rocket attacks have already rained down on the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia since the bridge explosion, killing 17 people late last night and early this morning.

Shocking footage circulated on social media by Ukrainian officials showed rescue workers pulling an elderly woman from the debris this morning after the attack reduced one high-rise residential building to rubble and damaged neighbouring structures.

An earlier clip saw rescue workers and forlorn residents picking their way over the mounds of twisted metal and smashed bricks as they searched for survivors and attempted to salvage what little remained from the devastation.

City council secretary Anatoly Kurtev said at least 20 private homes and 50 apartment buildings were damaged in the blasts, in addition to the high-rise that was flattened.

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Alluding to an enemy within, Solovyov called for a return of the brutal Stalin-era SMERSH counter-intelligence to crush all internal opposition to full-scale war

Russian deputy governor threatens nuclear strike on Ukraine
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Fire tears through the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, after an explosion inthe early hours of Saturday, October 8, 2022

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A view shows a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine October 9, 2022

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A view shows a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine October 9, 2022

Emergency services pull woman from the rubble in Zaporizhzhia

Russia in recent weeks has repeatedly struck Zaporizhzhia, which is in the Ukrainian controlled-part of a region that Putin annexed in violation of international law last week.

On Thursday, at least 19 people died in Russian missile strikes on apartment buildings in the southern city, which lies just 80 miles from Europe's largest nuclear power plant.

'Again, Zaporizhzhia. Again, merciless attacks on civilians, targeting residential buildings, in the middle of the night,' Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a Telegram post.

'Absolute meanness. Absolute evil. … From the one who gave this order, to everyone who carried out this order: they will answer. They must. Before the law and the people,' he added.

While Russia targeted Zaporizhzhia several times prior to Saturday's explosion on the Crimea bridge, last night's missile attack will likely be seen as a retributive action as it came just hours after the damage was dealt to the symbol of Russian power in the annexed peninsula.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant reconnected to the grid

Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia atomic energy plant is reconnected to the grid, the UN's nuclear watchdog said on Sunday, describing it as 'temporary relief in a still untenable situation'.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday that the plant - Europe's largest nuclear power station - had lost its last source of external power after renewed shelling and was relying on emergency generators.

'Our team at Zaporizhzhia confirms the offsite power line lost yesterday was restored and ZNPP (the plant) is reconnected to the grid - a temporary relief in a still untenable situation,' IAEA head Rafael Grossi tweeted on Sunday.

Although the plant's six reactors are in cold shutdown, they require electricity for vital nuclear safety and security functions, including cooling.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government this week to take over operations at the power station in southern Ukraine, where fears of an atomic accident remain high.

Grossi was in Kyiv on Thursday to discuss setting up a protection zone around the site which has regularly come under fire with Ukraine and Russia blaming each other.

'A protection zone is needed now. I will travel to Russia and will see Ukraine's (President Volodymyr) Zelensky thereafter to establish the zone,' Grossi added in his tweet on Sunday.

He has stressed the zone's main aim is 'to avoid a nuclear accident at the plant, which remains a very, very clear possibility'.

Electricity has been cut to the site several times since August.


Putin's 'miracle' bridge in flames: As a huge explosion blows apart vital link between Russia and seized region of Crimea, Ukraine celebrates... by issuing commemorative postage stamps, writes IAN BIRRELL in dispatch from Dnipro

By Ian Birrell for The Mail On Sunday

It is a picture that shows the stunning devastation caused to the only rail and road link between Russia and Crimea, after a huge blast left a fuel train in flames and caused the collapse of spans of the roadway below.

The massive fireball exploded on the 12-mile Kerch Bridge shortly after 6am yesterday, striking a hugely-symbolic blow against Vladimir Putin while prompting jubilation in Ukraine.

The Russian president ordered the bridge to be built in 2014 after his illegal annexation of Crimea – the first step in his assault on Ukrainian terrain. He declared it was a ‘miracle’ after driving a truck across to open the structure four years ago.

Now the bold attack demonstrates his inability to protect any part of the land he grabbed from Ukraine – and raises the stakes in this war as fears grow that the beleaguered Kremlin might respond to setbacks with a nuclear attack.

Huge explosion destroys bridge to Crimea and humiliates Putin
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It is a picture that shows the stunning devastation caused to the only rail and road link between Russia and Crimea, after a huge blast left a fuel train in flames and caused the collapse of spans of the roadway below

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The massive fireball exploded on the 12-mile Kerch Bridge shortly after 6am yesterday, striking a hugely-symbolic blow against Vladimir Putin while prompting jubilation in Ukraine

Russian media had boasted that the heavily defended bridge was impregnable. The rail line is a critical supply route for their military operations in Kherson region – although Moscow claimed last night that limited road and rail traffic would resume.

Yet the strike was another crushing humiliation for Putin. He demanded the building of the £2.7billion bridge, the longest in Europe, and saw it as his pet project.

Several Ukrainian media quoted sources claiming the attack on the loathed symbol of Russia’s occupation of their land was carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Russia blamed a lorry bomb and the footage showed a freight truck on the bridge before the blast.

A spokesman for the SBU declined to comment. But the organisation tweeted four lines paraphrasing a poem by Taras Shevchenko, the nation’s most famous writer:

‘It’s dawn/ The bridge burns beautifully/ Nightingale in the Crimea/ Greet SBU.’

Moment explosion destroys key bridge linking Crimea to Russia
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Cars are pictured below the damaged bridge connecting Crimea to Russia tonight, hours after a massive explosion

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The rail bridge from Russia to the Crimean peninsula can be seen engulfed in flames on the right, while a huge section of the road bridge has collapsed into the sea

Ukraine’s post office immediately issued a stamp to mark the bridge’s destruction while the nation’s second-largest bank offered a new debit card design featuring the collapsed bridge. Delighted Ukrainians noted the attack came the day after Putin’s 70th birthday – including Oleksii Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security council.

He shared a video of the damaged bridge on social media next to Marilyn Monroe’s famous rendition of ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ to John F. Kennedy in 1962.

Even pro-government newspapers in Russia have previously admitted that Ukraine hitting the bridge would be ‘a serious blow to Russia’ – although they ruled out the possibility of any attack succeeding. The structure was protected by air defence, sophisticated sonar systems to detect underwater saboteurs and a special naval brigade of the national guard with machine guns and missile-launchers.

Yet according to Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee, a lorry was blown up on the road and then the fuel cisterns of a freight train caught fire on a parallel rail bridge. Three people in a car died in the explosion, their corpses found in the water.

'Cloudy in Crimea': Zelensky pokes fun at Putin's Crimea humiliation
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The Russian president ordered the bridge to be built in 2014 after his illegal annexation of Crimea – the first step in his assault on Ukrainian terrain

Russian sources said firefighters struggled to put out the blaze due to strong winds and leaking fuel, resulting in damage to an estimated 1.3 kilometres of railway track. Putin has set up a government body to investigate the explosion and to oversee repairs while Sergei Aksyonov, his stooge head of Crimea, urged residents not to panic.

He insisted the peninsula has adequate stocks of food and fuel amid signs of panic-buying. Moscow’s transport ministry said in a statement their ‘experts’ expected rail crossings to resume quickly following ‘a primary assessment of the state of the infrastructure of the railway part of the Crimean bridge’.

The rail line is a vital supply route for the Kremlin’s operations in Kherson region, where they have been pushed back at least 12 miles this month. It became even more crucial following the loss of rail hubs in eastern Ukraine last month.

‘If the Kerch bridge railway lines are put out of commission for a significant period, it could be game over for Russian forces in Kherson,’ said Phillips O’Brien, an expert on military logistics and professor of strategic studies at St Andrews University.

Ukraine mocks Putin with Marilyn Monroe's rendition of birthday song

Moscow’s armed forces have been pushed back on battlefronts in the north-east and south with heavy losses forcing Putin into mass mobilisation, sparking an exodus of potential recruits and mounting domestic criticism from hardline Kremlin allies.

Ukraine’s President Zelensky said on Friday that his forces last week recaptured a further 800 square kilometres in the east, which follows last month’s dramatic breakthrough in Kharkiv region.

The Ukrainian president does not hide his determination to drive Moscow’s forces off all of their land, stating recently that ‘This Russian war… began with Crimea and must end with Crimea – with its liberation.’

Additional reporting: Kate Baklitskaya

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Missile strikes hit Kyiv after Putin pledged revenge for Crimea bridge blast