Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has responded to Russian forces’ renewed attacks on key Ukrainian cities - including the capital city of Kyiv - in a video address.
On Monday (10 October), Russia launched an intensive, hours-long attack which left at least eight people dead and 24 others injured in central Kyiv - numerous other cities were targeted, many of which had not seen direct attack for months.
According to preliminary information, at least eight people were killed and 24 others injured in just one of the Kyiv strikes, said Rostyslav Smirnov, an adviser to Ukraine's ministry of internal affairs.
The military escalation came just a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin deemed Saturday’s explosion on the large bridge connecting Russia to its occupied area of Crimea “a terrorist act” orchestrated by Ukrainian special forces.
According to Zelensky, Russia launched dozens of missiles and drones produced in Iran at Ukraine.
Here is everything you need to know about what he said.
What did Zelensky say?
Zelensky stated in his televised address that Russia had targeted civilian areas and energy facilities in 10 locations.
“(The Russians) chose such a time and such targets on purpose to inflict the most damage,” he said.
The sustained attack on major cities hit both residential areas and important infrastructure facilities, indicating a substantial Russian escalation in the fighting amid a recent Ukrainian counter-offensive.
In the midst of the assault, Zelensky declared on his Telegram account that Russia is “trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth”.
Zelensky said Russia also wants to “destroy our people who are sleeping at home in (the city of) Zaporizhzhia. Kill people who go to work in Dnipro and Kyiv.”
“The air raid sirens do not subside throughout Ukraine. There are missiles hitting. Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded.”
“Please do not leave (bomb) shelters,” he added. “Let’s hold on and be strong.”
Ukraine's air force spokesman, Yuriy Ihnat, said Russia launched 83 missiles from the Caspian and Black Seas, more than 43 of which were shot down by Ukrainian air defences.
Blasts were reported in the capital's Shevchenko district of Kyiv, a large region in the city centre that encompasses the historic old town as well as various government offices, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
Elsewhere, Russia’s four-hour attack on civilian areas and energy infrastructure had air raid sirens sounding in every part of Ukraine except Russia-annexed Crimea.
Zelensky has said that an emergency meeting of the G7 group of leading nations, which includes the United Kingdom, has been organised to discuss the situation.
The decision has been agreed upon with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who currently holds the group's rotating presidency.
What is the latest from Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made formal confirmation of the strikes on Ukrainian targets, verifying they were in response to the explosion on the Kerch Bridge over the weekend.
Long-range missiles, he said in a video address, attacked energy, military and communications facilities, and he promised a “harsh” retaliation for any additional “terrorist” acts on Russian soil.
The military escalation came just a day after Putin deemed Saturday’s explosion on the large bridge connecting Russia to its occupied area of Crimea “a terrorist act” orchestrated by Ukrainian special forces.
The attacks occurred only hours before a scheduled security council meeting in Moscow due to be attended by Putin, as Russia’s conflict in Ukraine approaches the eight-month mark and the Kremlin reels from humiliating battlefield failures in areas it is attempting to control.
The Russian president is due to meet with his security council today to address the weekend explosion on a bridge connecting Russia and Crimea, which he blames on Ukraine.
The Kerch Bridge is strategically significant to Russia as a military supply line to its soldiers in Ukraine, as well as serving as a symbolic emblem of its claims to Crimea.
In a meeting on Sunday with the chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Putin said “there’s no doubt [the bridge explosion] was a terrorist act directed at the destruction of critically important civilian infrastructure”.