Ukraine woke again to the sounds of explosions and air raid sirens on Monday as Russian missile strikes around the country left at least 13 people hurt and damaged critical infrastructure, with widespread power and water outages reported.
Over 50 missiles were launched resulting in at least two blasts tearing through Kyiv as energy facilities in the northeastern city of Kharkiv were struck. Rockets were also reported in the Dnipropetrovsk region in central Ukraine, along with strikes in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia area and Lviv in the west. At least 10 cities and regions outside the capital recorded explosions.
Ukraine’s national police chief Ihor Klymenko said 13 people were injured in the attacks, local news agency Ukrinform reported. The extent of their injuries was not disclosed. Kyiv Governor Oleksiy Kuleba separately said at least two people were injured in his region. “One of them is in serious condition and is in the hospital,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging platform on Monday.
A facility at the Dnipro hydroelectric power plant was reportedly hit, while a separate facility which powers around 350,000 apartments in Kyiv was damaged. Engineers were sent to urgently restore the energy supply. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko also said that 80 percent of the capital’s population were without water. “Specialists are doing everything possible to return water to the apartments of Kyiv residents,” he wrote on Telegram.
Residents in the targeted regions were advised to remain in shelters over fears that more strikes could be on the way. Speaking during a TV interview, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said Russia used strategic bomber planes to carry out the “massive” airstrikes. Ukraine’s military later added that 44 out of over 50 missiles launched on Monday morning were successfully shot down.
The strikes are at least the third coordinated attack to hit Kyiv on a Monday morning this month. At least 23 were killed and over 100 were injured during air strikes on Oct. 10, the first attacks on Kyiv since Russians retreated from the Ukrainian capital in April. A week later, a pregnant woman and her partner were among four killed as “kamikaze” drones blitzed the capital.
The regular nature of the attacks—an apparent tactic to undermine Ukrainian resolve—was noted in a tweet by Melinda Simmons, the British ambassador in Kyiv.
The bombings came after Russia blamed Ukraine for a drone attack on its Black Sea Fleet in the annexed Crimea on Saturday. Moscow’s defense ministry said the attack involved 16 drones equipped with Canadian-made navigation technology, and that British navy “specialists” directed the “terrorist” assault. Britain denied the claims, saying Moscow was “peddling false claims on an epic scale” after Russia also accused the U.K.’s Royal Navy of blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September.
Ukrainian officials suggested that Russia itself may be responsible for the Black Sea Fleet explosions which were used by the Kremlin as a pretext to pull out of an internationally-brokered grain deal designed to ease the global food crisis. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “blackmailing the world with hunger” by withdrawing from the export deal.
Monday’s strikes in Ukraine come after another Russian-launched bombardment killed at least 14 people earlier in October. The Kremlin said that operation, which similarly targeted infrastructure, was launched in response to what it also called a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge.
“Another batch of Russian missiles hits Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Instead of fighting on the battlefield, Russia fights civilians,” Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted after Monday’s strikes. “Don’t justify these attacks by calling them a ‘response.’ Russia does this because it still has the missiles and the will to kill Ukrainians.”
Russian authorities did not immediately comment on the latest attacks.