Russia-Ukraine war: which Ukrainian cities have been hit as explosions rock Kyiv and Lviv - how many deaths?

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The strikes come a day after Vladimir Putin called an attack on bridge to Crimea a “terrorist act”

Several Ukrainian cities have been hit by a barrage of missiles launched by Russia’s military early on Monday morning.

The attack hit capital Kyiv, bombarding civilian targets in an intense hours-long attack in a sudden military escalation by Moscow.

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At least eight people have been killed and 24 others injured in one of the Kyiv strikes (Photo: Getty Images)At least eight people have been killed and 24 others injured in one of the Kyiv strikes (Photo: Getty Images)
At least eight people have been killed and 24 others injured in one of the Kyiv strikes (Photo: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were retaliation for what he called Kyiv’s “terrorist” actions, including an attack on Saturday on a key bridge between Russia and the annexed Crimean Peninsula that is prized by the Kremlin.

The Kerch Bridge is important to Russia strategically, as a military supply line to its forces in Ukraine, and symbolically, as an emblem of its claims on Crimea. No-one has claimed responsibility for damaging the 12-mile (19km) long bridge, the longest in Europe.

Mr Putin called the bridge explosion a “terrorist act” masterminded by Ukrainian special services. A criminal terror investigation into the explosion that damaged the prominent Russian landmark has now been launched by the country’s investigative committee.

Which Ukrainian cities have been hit by missiles?

Mr Putin, speaking in a video call with members of Russia’s Security Council, said the Russian military launched “precision weapons” from the air, sea and ground to target key energy and military command facilities, but the sustained barrage on major cities also hit residential areas.

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The attack came just a few hours before he was due to hold a meeting with his security council, as Moscow’s war in Ukraine approaches its eight-month milestone and the Kremlin reels from humiliating battlefield setbacks in areas it is trying to annex.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces launched dozens of missiles and Iranian-built drones against Ukraine. The General Staff of the Ukraine Armed Forces said 75 missiles were fired against Ukrainian targets, with 41 of them neutralised by air defences.

The targets were civilian areas and energy facilities in 10 cities, Mr Zelensky said in a video address, stating: “(The Russians) chose such a time and such targets on purpose to inflict the most damage.”

Explosions have been reported in the capital’s Shevchenko district, a large area in the centre of Kyiv that includes the historic old town as well as several government offices, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

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Some of the strikes hit near the government quarter in the symbolic heart of the capital, where Parliament and other major landmarks are located. A glass tower housing offices was significantly damaged, with most of its blue-tinted windows blown out, and residents were seen on the streets with blood on their clothes and hands.

The attack damaged and destroyed several cars, while air raid sirens sounded in every region of Ukraine, except Russia-annexed Crimea, for four straight hours. The Kyiv subway also stopped running as people took shelter in its stations, and power and water supplies were knocked out in numerous areas.

Russia targeted civilian areas and energy infrastructure (Photo: Getty Images)Russia targeted civilian areas and energy infrastructure (Photo: Getty Images)
Russia targeted civilian areas and energy infrastructure (Photo: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Lesia Vasylenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, posted a photo on Twitter showing that at least one explosion occurred near the main building of the Kyiv National University in central Kyiv.

Associated Press journalists in Dnipro saw many bodies at an industrial site on the city’s outskirts where windows in the area had been blown out and glass littered the street. A telecommunications building was also hit.

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Explosions have also been reported by Ukrainian media in several other locations, including the western city of Lviv that has been a refuge for many people fleeing the fighting in the east, as well as in Kharkiv, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr and Kropyvnytskyi. In Lviv, energy infrastructure was hit, regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi said.

Kharkiv was hit three times, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said, with the strikes knocking out the electricity and water supply.

How many deaths have been reported?

At least eight people have been killed and 24 others injured in just one of the Kyiv strikes, according to preliminary information, said Rostyslav Smirnov, an adviser to the Ukrainian ministry of internal affairs.

Residents in Kyiv were seen on the streets with blood on their clothes and hands, including a young man seen with a bandage around his head and a woman with blood all over the front of her blouse.

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Amid the onslaught, Mr Zelensky said on his Telegram account that Russia is “trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth”.

He wrote: “Please do not leave (bomb) shelters. Let’s hold on and be strong.”

Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov has now stepped up calls for Western allies to supply more equipment, saying: “The best response to Russian missile terror is the supply of anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems to Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, President Zelensky said an urgent meeting of the G7 group of leading nations, which includes the UK, had been scheduled to discuss the situation. He said the move had been agreed with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who holds the rotating presidency of the group.

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