'You don't know where to hide': Kyiv residents reel from deadly Russian missile attacks

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By Euronews  with AP
People stand by a rocket crater next to a child playground in central Kyiv on October 10, 2022 after Ukraine's capital was hit by multiple Russian strikes.
People stand by a rocket crater next to a child playground in central Kyiv on October 10, 2022 after Ukraine's capital was hit by multiple Russian strikes.   -   Copyright  SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP

Workers have started to clear debris in downtown Kyiv after Russian forces launched a barrage of fatal bombardments in the capital and across Ukraine.

The attack was allegedly retaliation for an explosion that damaged a key bridge to Moscow-annexed Crimea.

Ukraine's most senior military general said Russian forces had fired 75 missiles on cities across the country in a wave of attacks that included Iranian drones.

It was the first Russian strike on Kyiv since late June.

Residents were sent into bomb shelters for the first time in months.

The attacks struck the capital at the start of the morning rush hour, when commuter traffic was beginning to pick up.

"What you see here you see across the whole city. They've been coming over every half an hour, about seven, eight or nine times", said Anton, a 25 year-old-male.

While Ksenia Ryazantseva, a 39-year-old language teacher said, "we were sleeping when we heard the first explosion. We woke up, went to check and then, the second explosion came."

According to Kyiv's Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko, the Shevchenko district near parliament buildings was hit. The area includes the historic old town as well as several government offices.

"The capital is under Russian terrorist attack!" Klitschko said on social media, adding that the strikes had hit the city centre.

"If there is no urgent need, it is better not to go to the city today. I am also asking the residents in the suburbs about this – do not go to the capital today.

"You know, we see windows are broken, infrastructure is damaged, we will fix it. But how can we repair the lives of the people who have died now?

"These are innocent people, ordinary civilians from our city. And this nonsense, that this is a 'special operation', yes, we have heard, but I can say that Kyiv has been and remains the target of the aggressor, the target of the occupier," he added.

Euronews spoke to two students who had just returned to Kyiv to begin university. They say these fresh attacks brought back some bad memories from the start of the war.

“We are very worried, this reminds me so much of that morning on 24 February with the strikes all across Ukraine", said the first student.

"We only returned this morning, I planned to go back studying and now it’s going to be online again and I am going to go back abroad," she concluded.

"It's very difficult to accept it all, especially when after some time, everything was beginning to stabilise, but this thing has started again," the second student added.

"So you suddenly get stressed. You don't know what to do, where to run and where to hide."

"Around me I don't feel panic," Euronews correspondent Natalia Liubchenkova reported from Kyiv. "I would say people are rather thinking forward, how to deal with this threat, how to make sure themselves and their families are safe." 

The strikes came a day after Moscow blamed Ukraine for the blast on a bridge linking Crimea to Russia, leaving three people dead.

A second round of air raid sirens rang across Kyiv on Monday afternoon, sending many across the city back underground into shelters.

Elsewhere, Russian strikes targeted the city of Dnipro, Kharkiv, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr and Kropyvnytskyi.

US President Joe Biden says civilian deaths caused by missile attacks across Ukraine illustrate the “utter brutality” of the war led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The United States strongly condemns Russia’s missile strikes today across Ukraine, including in Kyiv,” a White House statement said.

“These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose. They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people.”

Biden renewed a call on Russia to withdraw all of its forces from Ukraine.

As Zelenksyy's counteroffensive continues to make gains in the east, these missile strikes mark Russia's most aggressive attack in months.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also spoke to Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba on Monday. In a tweet, Stoltenberg said the “condemned Russia’s horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”

He affirmed that “NATO will continue supporting the brave Ukrainian people to fight back against the Kremlin’s aggression for as long as it takes.”

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also said such acts have “no place” in the 21st century.

Additional sources • AFP