KYIV, Ukraine — A massive barrage of Russian strikes on Monday morning hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities in apparent retaliation for what Moscow alleged was a Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea Fleet over the weekend.
Loud explosions were heard across the Ukrainian capital in the early morning as residents prepared to go to work. Some of them received text messages from the emergency services about the threat of a missile attack, and air raid sirens wailed for three straight hours.
Large areas of the city were cut off from power and water supplies as a result, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Local authorities were working to restore a damaged energy facility that supplies power to 350,000 apartments in the capital, he said.
In Kharkiv, two strikes hit critical infrastructure facilities, according to the authorities, and the subway ceased operating. Officials also warned about possible power outages in the city of Zaporizhzhia resulting from the strikes there.
Critical infrastructure objects were also hit in the Cherkasy region southeast of Kyiv, and explosions were reported in other regions of Ukraine. In the Kirovohrad region of central Ukraine, the energy facility was hit, according to local authorities. In Vinnytsia, a missile that was shot down landed on civilian buildings, resulting in damage but no casualties, according to regional governor Serhii Borzov.
Some parts of Ukrainian railways were also cut off from power, the Ukrainian Railways reported.
The attack comes two days after Russia accused Ukraine of a drone attack against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the coast of the annexed Crimean Peninsula. Ukraine has denied the attack, saying that Russia mishandled its own weapons, but Moscow still announced halting its participation in a U.N.-brokered deal to allow safe passage of ships carrying grain from Ukraine.
Commenting on Monday's attacks, the head of Ukraine's presidential office Andriy Yermak said that Russian forces “continue to fight with civilian facilities.”
“We will persevere, and generations of Russians will pay a high price for their disgrace,” Yermak said.
It's the second time this month that Russia unleashed a massive barrage of strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. On Oct. 10, a similar attack rocked the war-torn country following an explosion on the Kerch Bridge linking annexed Crimea to mainland Russia — an incident Moscow blamed on Kyiv.
Deputy head of the presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said urgent power shutdowns were being carried out after “Russian terrorists once again launched a massive strike on energy facilities in a number of Ukrainian regions."