Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed it hit “all designated targets” in an unprecedented strike against Ukrainian infrastructure on Monday.
"Today, Russia's armed forces have inflicted a massive strike with high-precision long-range weapons against Ukrainian military, communications and energy targets," announced a Russian Defense Ministry briefing, according to Reuters. "The goal of the strike has been achieved. All designated targets were hit," the statement added.
The attacks targeted dozens of Ukrainian infrastructure sites in Lviv, Kryvyi Rih, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Kremenchuk, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil, reportedly knocking out water, power, and heat across the country. Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal said on Monday morning that five regions have been left without electricity and eight are facing water supply challenges.
There have been unconfirmed reports of explosions in Kyiv at the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) office, the German consulate, and a building that is part of the Ukrainian president’s office. The U.S. embassy in Ukraine has urged all Americans to leave the country, though it remains unclear if any embassies have opted to temporarily relocate in response to the strikes. The attacks have left eleven people dead and sixty-four injured, according to the latest tally of Ukraine’s Emergency Service.
The strikes, which mark the first rocket attack on Kyiv since June, come closely on the heels of the bombing of the Kerch Bridge in Russian-annexed Crimea. "It is obvious that the Ukrainian secret services ordered, organized, and carried out the terrorist attack aimed at destroying Russia's critical civilian infrastructure," Russian president Vladimir Putin said during a meeting of the country’s Security Council.
"This morning, at the suggestion of the Defense Ministry and under a plan of the Russian General Staff, a massive strike by Russia’s long-range air-, sea- and ground-based precision weapons was delivered against Ukrainian energy, military command and communications facilities,” Putin continued. "If attempts continue to carry out terror attacks on our territory, Russia’s responses will be tough and by their scope correspond to the level of threats created for the Russian Federation … no one must have any doubts about that,” he added.
"They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth. Completely. Destroy our people who are sleeping at home in Zaporizhzhia. Kill people on their way to work in Dnipro and Kyiv," said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video address following the strikes.
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv is coordinating a “resolute response” to the attacks, urging Ukraine’s international partners to implement new sanctions against Russia and to further strengthen Ukraine’s military capabilities with deliveries of air defense systems.
Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for the National Interest.