A series of loud explosions rocked Ukraine’s capital Kyiv early Monday morning, a day after Moscow blamed Ukraine for a deadly blast on the bridge linking Crimea to Russia.
The explosions hit Kyiv around 8:15 am local time (0515 GMT), and an AFP journalist in the city saw numerous ambulances appearing to head toward the scene of the blasts.
“Several explosions in the Shevchenkivskyi district – in the centre of the capital,” Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on social media.
Videos posted on social media showed black smoke rising above several areas in the city.
The explosions came a day after Moscow blamed Ukraine for the explosion on a bridge linking Crimea to Russia, leaving three people dead.
“The authors, perpetrators and sponsors are the Ukrainian secret services,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said of Saturday’s Crimea bridge bombing, which he described as a “terrorist act”.
Putin was speaking during a meeting with the head of the investigation committee he has set up to look into the bombing, Russian news agencies reported.
The Russian leader is gearing up for a meeting with his Security Council later Monday, the Kremlin told local news agencies.
“Tomorrow the president has a planned meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
The blast that hit the bridge sparked celebrations from Ukrainians and others on social media.
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his nightly address on Saturday, did not directly mention the incident, and officials in Kyiv have made no direct claim of responsibility.
On Saturday, Russia said some road and rail traffic had resumed over the strategic link, a symbol of the Kremlin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
The 19-kilometre (12-mile) bridge is a vital supply link between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula.
Some military analysts argue that the blast could have a major impact if Moscow sees the need to shift already hard-pressed troops to Crimea from other regions — or if it prompts a rush by residents to leave.
Mick Ryan, a retired Australian senior officer now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that even if Kyiv was not behind the blast, it constituted “a massive influence operation win for Ukraine.
“It is a demonstration to Russians, and the rest of the world, that Russia’s military cannot protect any of the provinces it recently annexed,” he said on Twitter.
Originally posted on October 10, 2022 @ 8:58 am