It is feared that numerous people are dead Ukraine today after Vladimir Putin vented his anger on civilian targets in revenge for an explosion at a key Russian bridge.
A deadly barrage of strikes rattled several Ukrainian cities throughout the day, in a return to the horror scenes seen earlier in the war.
It is the first time in months that the country has come under sustained attack.
The Russian president admitted the attacks were in direct retaliation for what he called a “terrorist” attack by Ukraine on the bridge prized by the Kremlin for connecting Russia to annexed Crimea.
The intense, hour-long attacks marked a sudden military escalation by Moscow and came a day after Mr Putin accused Ukraine’s special services of planning Saturday’s blast.
At least 14 people were killed and 24 injured in just one of the attacks in Kyiv, according to preliminary information from Rostyslav Smirnov, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.
Putin, in a video call with members of the Russian Security Council, claimed that the Russian military had fired “precision weapons” from the air, sea and ground to target key energy and military command facilities.
But the continued barrage of major cities hit residential areas as well as key infrastructure.
Air raid sirens sounded for four hours in all regions of Ukraine except Crimea.
The attack comes amid a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive in recent weeks that has raised concerns that Putin could escalate the war and even use tactical nuclear weapons.
The Russian leader meets his Security Council tonight as the Kremlin is rocked by humiliating battlefield setbacks in areas he annexed in mock referendums.
In central Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said explosions hit Shevchenko district, a large area that includes the historic old town as well as several government offices.
Some of the strikes took place near the government district in the symbolic heart of the capital, where the parliament and other important sights are located. A glass tower containing offices suffered significant damage, with most of its blue-tinted windows blown out.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took a defiant selfie in the capital as his people sang the national anthem while sheltering from the barrage.
But bloodied residents were also seen on the streets as the casualties mounted.
Several cars were also damaged or completely destroyed while the Kiev Metro stopped operating as people took shelter in its stations.
Electricity, water and power supplies were out in numerous areas.
Mr Zelensky said Russian forces had fired dozens of missiles and Iranian-built drones against Ukraine.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said 75 missiles were fired at Ukrainian targets, 41 of which were neutralized by air defenses.
Mr. Zelensky claimed in a video address that civilian areas and power plants were attacked in 10 cities.
“(The Russians) deliberately chose such timing and targets to do the most damage,” he said.
Associated Press journalists in Dnipro said they saw numerous bodies at an industrial site on the outskirts of the city, where glass had shattered across the street.
Ukrainian media also reported explosions in a number of other locations, including the western city of Lviv, which has been a haven for many people fleeing fighting in the east, as well as Kharkiv, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr and Kropyvnytskyi.
The Kerch Bridge is strategically important to Russia, as a military supply line, and symbolically, as an emblem of its claims to Crimea and a pet project of Putin.
No one has claimed responsibility for damaging the 12-mile (19 km) bridge, the longest in Europe.
Amid the attack, Mr. Zelensky posted on Telegram that Russia is “trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth.”
He wrote: “Please do not leave (bomb) shelters.
“Let’s hold on and be strong.”
Do you have a story? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can submit your videos and pictures here.
For more stories like this, check out our news site.
Follow Metro.co.uk on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news updates. You can now also have Metro.co.uk articles delivered straight to your device. Sign up for our daily push notifications here.
MORE: Joe Biden condemns Russia’s missile strikes on Ukraine and the ‘utter brutality of Putin’s illegal war’
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/10/russia-ukraine-war-revenge-attacks-strike-across-ukraine-17538756/ Russia-Ukraine War: Revenge attacks strike across Ukraine