Russia’s military was dealt a major blow last week, after an explosion destroyed much of the Kerch bridge that connect Crimea to the Russian mainland.
The bridge was particularly meaningful to Vladimir Putin, and, in a bit of poetic justice, the blast occurred on his birthday.
Putin, who is already engaging in desperate tactics throughout Ukraine, unleashed an enormous volley of rockets in response.
KYIV and DNIPRO, UKRAINE, and MOSCOW — Explosions rocked several cities across Ukraine in the most extensive attack on the country since the early days of Russia’s invasion in February. The attacks came only hours after Russia blamed Ukraine for a weekend explosion that partially damaged a strategic bridge that connects Russian-occupied Crimea to mainland Russia.
Ukrainian emergency services report that several people are dead across the country, including at least five people in the the capital Kyiv, which hasn’t been hit since June. It’s also the closest strike to the center of the city since the war began, coming just over 1,000 yards from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office.
Putin suggested that the attacks, which hit a great many civilian targets, were justified.
In a video address to his Security Council, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were a necessary response to what he argued were repeated “terrorist attacks” by Ukraine on critical Russian infrastructure — including the bridge, pipelines, and nuclear power plants.
“This morning, a massive high-precision strike was conducted on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, military command, and communications,” said Putin. “In case Ukrainian terrorist attacks continue on Russian territory, our response will be tough and proportional.”
Putin’s armies have been running low on munitions for weeks now, making this sort of response a rather costly one.