- Mykolaiv port was struck by three explosions, according to a witness
- Zhytomyr City is left without water and electricity
- Blasting heard in other cities besides Kyiv
- Zelenskiy claims that Russia has been targeting civilians.
- Moscow disputes that and claims it has hit infrastructure.
On Tuesday morning, Russian missiles struck infrastructure targets across Ukraine, escalating what appeared to be a deliberate campaign by Moscow to destroy electricity and water facilities before winter.
According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a Ukrainian presidential aide, the attacks knocked out power and water supply in Zhytomyr, a city of 263,000 people, and two explosions rocked an energy facility in Dnipro, a city of nearly 1 million people, causing serious damage.
A missile slammed into an apartment building in the southern Ukrainian port of Mykolaiv, killing at least one man, according to a Reuters witness, and blasts were heard and smoke was seen rising in Kyiv, the capital.
There were also reports of power facilities being targeted in Kharkiv, a city close to the Russian border with a pre-war population of 1.43 million people.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of terrorizing and killing civilians with the air strikes, which came a day after at least four people were killed in drone strikes on Kyiv and other cities.
Zelenskiy posted on the Telegram messaging app, “The occupiers continue to do what they do best – terrorize and kill civilians.”
Such acts will not affect the terrorist state in any way; rather, they will only serve to highlight its inherent murderousness and destructiveness, for which it will unquestionably be held accountable.
There was no word on how many people were killed in the strikes.
Russia named General Sergei Suvorikin as overall commander of its “special operation” in Ukraine earlier this month. Suvorikin served in Syria and Chechnya, where Russian forces waged a scorched-earth policy against its adversaries.
His appointment, dubbed “General Armageddon” by Russian media due to his alleged toughness, was followed by the largest wave of missile strikes against Ukraine since Moscow invaded on Feb. 24.
Russia carried out its latest strikes on Tuesday, following a warning from the US that it would hold Moscow accountable for any war crimes.
Moscow denies that civilians were targeted. Its defense ministry has stated that it is carrying out high-precision attacks on military targets and energy infrastructure across Ukraine.
A Reuters witness reported hearing three explosions in the early hours of Tuesday in the port city of Mykolaiv.
According to them, a missile completely destroyed one wing of a downtown building, leaving a massive crater. A fire crew was seen pulling a man’s dead body from the rubble.
“In Mykolaiv, the enemy destroyed a residential building with S-300 missiles, killing one person; there was also a strike at the flower market and the chestnut park; I wonder what the Russian terrorists were fighting against at these completely peaceful facilities?” Zelenskiy wondered.
The Russian strikes came in response to Ukrainian advances in the east and south, as well as an Oct. 8 blast on a bridge that connects Crimea, the peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, to the Russian mainland.
U.S. Karine Jean-Pierre, President Joe Biden’s press secretary, told reporters on Monday that the White House “strongly condemns Russia’s missile strikes” and referred to Putin’s “brutality.”
On February 24, Putin sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in what he called a “special operation” to root out “dangerous nationalists.”
Ukrainian forces have mounted a strong resistance, aided by arms supplied by the US and its allies, who have also imposed broad sanctions on Russia in an attempt to force it to withdraw.