On Monday, during rush hour in Ukraine, Russia once again attacked Ukraine. This time was slightly different, though. Unlike the majority of Russia’s other assaults on the country that they have been invading for the past eight months, these strikes landed in areas inhabited almost entirely by citizens.
At least eleven people have been murdered by Russian military attacks on civilians, with approximately 52 people injured. During one of the busiest hours of the lives of Ukraine’s citizens, Russia launched 80 cruise missiles and 24 kamikaze drones at different municipals, ranging from Kyiv to Lviv in the west and Kharviv in the east. The attacks also targeted vital infrastructure, such as the electric grid.
Many western country leaders and organisation representatives have condemned these actions as those of terrorism; these strikes are being viewed as an escalation of the war between these countries. President Biden’s statement on the attack referenced “the utter brutality of Mr Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people.” Statements from the UN and NATO’s secretary generals, António Guterres and Jens Stoltenberg expressed “shock” at the “indiscriminate” attacks that have left civilians “paying the highest price” for the war.
According to Putin, these attacks were a response to the destruction of the Crimean bridge. Putin referred to the explosion of the bridge as a “terrorist attack,” and warned that should there be any more, “the response from Russia will be severe.”
President Zelenskiy, who has actively been fighting alongside Ukraine’s military throughout this war, suggested that Russia purposefully planned their air strikes to occur at such a busy time and in heavily populated areas in order to “cause as much harm as possible.”
Despite both countries withdrawing forces in recent weeks, it is clear that this war is far from over. President Biden pledged to continue the US’s “support necessary for Ukrainian forces to defend their country and freedom,” alongside Britain’s promise of continued support.
Belarus’ president, Alexander Lukashenko has also promised to deploy Belarus’ military jointly with Russia’s on the western border of Ukraine. Lukashenko deemed the destruction of the Kerch bridge as a deliberate escalation of tensions, and thus is resuming his country’s assistance to Russia.
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