Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened of more ‘severe’ attacks on Ukraine on the same day Russia pounded its western neighbour with missile strikes across the country. Putin issued the warning in televised comments addressed to his security council.
“Let there be no doubt,” Putin said, “if attempts at terrorist attacks continue, the response from Russia will be severe.”
Putin predecessor, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on social media that the strikes were only “the first episode”.
The ‘terrorist attack’ Putin mentioned is an apparent reference to truck bomb explosion on Kerch bridge, a key bridge connecting Russia with Russia-occupied Crimea. Ukraine has not accpeted responsibility for the explosion but Putin has blamed Ukraine.
The bridge is vital to Russia’s war effort in southern Ukraine as it transports soldiers and military equipment from Russia to Crimea.
Russia’s missile strikes across Ukraine on Monday was first major military response from Russia after explosion on Kerch bridge.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian strikes had aimed to take down Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Regional officials across the country confirmed widespread disruptions to services.
Ukraine’s foreign minister said the attacks had not been “provoked” and the onslaught was Moscow’s response to a series of embarrassing military losses in eastern Ukraine.
“Putin is desperate because of battlefield defeats and uses missile terror to try to change the pace of war in his favour,” minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on social media.
(With inputs from agencies)
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