Ukraine has warned of swift retaliation over an unusual daytime missile attack on Kyiv and says Russia will "regret" the onslaught.
Explosions rattled the Ukrainian capital today as Vladimir Putin's forces fired missiles, hours after a more common overnight barrage of the city.
Russian forces fired 11 ballistic and cruise missiles at Kyiv at about 11:30am local time, all of which were shot down, according to Ukraine's chief of staff Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
Debris from the intercepted missiles fell in Kyiv’s central and northern districts during the morning, landing in the middle of traffic, and also starting a fire on a building's roof.
At least one civilian was reported injured, but there have been no reports of fatalities from the attack - the 16th airstrike on the city this month.
Major General Kirill Budanov, head of Ukraine's military intelligence agency (GUR), vowed revenge in a statement this afternoon.
"All those who in the Russian Federation still believed, believe, or maybe dream that they can intimidate Ukraine, I want to upset you – this is not so: everyone was, and is, at their jobs and continue to fulfill their work," he said. "All those who tried to intimidate us, dreaming that this would bring some kind of effect, you will regret it very soon. Our response will not slow down. Soon everyone will see everything."
Monday's blasts unnerved some locals, already under strain following repeated night-time attacks. However people tried to carry on as normal, working on their laptops as they sheltered in underground metro stations. “After what happened last night, I react sharply to every siren now. I was terrified, and I’m still trembling,” shared Alina Ksenofontova, a 50-year-old woman who took refuge in the Kyiv subway with her dog Bublik.
The central station, Tetatralna, was crowded with sheltering locals. Artem Zhyla, a 24-year-old who provides legal services abroad, took his laptop with him and kept working underground.
“I heard two or three explosions, went to the bathroom, and then I heard five or seven more explosions. That’s when I realized something terrible was happening,” he said. Like many others in the capital, he feels exhausted and stressed. However, he has no intentions of giving up and plans to attend his yoga class to recharge.
“This is certainly not enough to break us,” he said. Russia used Iskander short-range missiles in the morning attack, the spokesman for Ukraine’s air force said on local television.
The missiles were fired from north of Kyiv, Yurii Ihnat said without clarifying if he meant Russian territory. Kyiv lies around 236 miles from the Russian border.
Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, said the latest attack shows “the enemy changed its tactics".
He added: "After prolonged, night-time attacks only, it struck a peaceful city during the day, when most residents were at work and outside.”
The Russian Defence Ministry said that early Monday it launched a series of strikes targeting Ukrainian air bases with precision long-range air-launched missiles.
The strikes destroyed command posts, radars, aircraft and ammunition stockpiles, it claimed. It didn’t say anything about hitting cities or other civilian areas. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned against indifference, saying the repeated strikes on civilian areas amounted to “war crimes.” “Russia’s drone and missile attacks on peaceful Ukrainian cities cannot be seen as usual, no matter how frequent they grow,” he tweeted in English.
During the previous night, Ukraine air defences brought down more than 40 targets as Russian forces bombarded Kyiv with a combination of drones and cruise missiles in their 15th night-time attack on the capital so far this month, said Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv's military administration. On Saturday night, Kyiv was subjected to the largest drone attack since the start of Russia’s war, with at least one person killed. The Kremlin’s strategy of long-range bombardment has brought many sleepless nights for Ukrainians. Over the winter, Russian forces aimed their missiles and drones at power plants and other infrastructure.
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The apparent goal was to weaken Ukraine's resolve and compel the Ukrainian government to negotiate peace on Moscow's terms, but Ukrainian's defiantly repaired the damage.
In recent months, Ukraine has been receiving advanced air defence systems from its Western allies, improving its ability to fend off bombardments by the Kremlin's forces. Across the country, the Ukrainian air force said that over Sunday night it shot down 37 out of 40 cruise missiles and 29 out of 35 drones launched by the Kremlin’s forces. At least three civilians were wounded nationwide in the latest wave of attacks, the Ukrainian presidential office said.