Kabul: Russia’s military struck Kiev and other Ukrainian cities on Monday with President Vladimir Putin warning of a “harsh” response in case of any further attacks such as that on the Crimean Bridge.
Kiev’s police officials say the blasts caused at least five deaths and twelve injuries there, but there are no details about the causalities in other cities.
Kiev mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, issued a statement via his official Telegram account, saying, “Several explosions in the Shevchenskivskyi district – in the center of the capital.”
At least four explosions were heard, the Kiev Independent reported and according to public broadcaster Suspilne, an explosion was heard near a railway station in the city.
The Russian military also struck several other cities including Lviv, Zhytomyr, Khmelnitsky, Dnipro, and Ternopil.
Russia’s defense ministry said it had hit “all designated targets” which included Ukrainian military, communications and energy infrastructure, Russian news agencies said.
Meanwhile, Putin, who had called the Crimea bridge blast a “terrorist act” carried out by Ukraine secret services, vowed on Monday to react forcefully if such attacks continued.
“If attempts continue to carry out terrorist acts on our territory, Russia’s responses will be harsh and in their scale will correspond to the level of threats created for the Russian Federation. No one should have any doubt about that,” Putin said.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the explosion. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has, however, declared in a Twitter message that the bombing was “the beginning.”
The blast came amid a February-present Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine, which has been seeking to defend the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk’s pro-Russian population against persecution by Kiev.