After weeks of setbacks, Russia on Monday ( October 10, 2022) bombed several cities across Ukraine, hitting civilian targets and damaging infrastructure, in what is seen as revenge for blowing up a vital bridge connecting Ukraine to Russian annexed Crimea.
Russian PresidentVladimir Putin holds Ukraine responsible for the explosion that took place on October 9. However, Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the explosion of the bridge.
As seen as a retaliation, Russian forces hurled a volley of missiles on several Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr and Kropyvnytskyi.
UKRAINE WAR; MORE THREAT FROM RUSSIA
Putin threatened further missile attacks on Ukraine. “If attempts to commit terrorist acts on our territory continue, the responses from Russia will be harsh and their scale will correspond to the level of threat to Russia,” Putin said in televised comments to a meeting of his Security Council on Monday. “No one should have any doubts,” he added.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that Russia should kill the “terrorists” responsible for the attack. “Russia can only respond to this crime by directly killing terrorists, as is the custom elsewhere in the world. This is what Russian citizens expect,” he was quoted as saying by state news agency TASS.
Meanwhile, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on on his Telegram channel, “They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth. The air raid sirens do not subside throughout Ukraine. There are missiles hitting. Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded.”
Reacting to the attacks, Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “Putin’s only tactic is terror on peaceful Ukrainian cities, but he will not break Ukraine down. This is also his response to all appeasers who want to talk with him about peace: Putin is a terrorist who talks with missiles.”
UKRAINE WAR; THE IMPORTRANCE OF THE BRIDGE
The Crimea Bridge, which is about 19 Km is the only direct link between the transport network of Russia and the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The bridge was a flagship project for Putin, who opened it himself for road traffic with great fanfare by driving a truck across in 2018.
The bridge is crucial for the supply of fuel, food and other products to Crimea, where the port of Sevastopol is the historic home base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. After the invasion, the bridge became a major supply route for Russian forces.
UKRAINE WAR; UNITED NATIONS
UN chief António Guterres said that large-scale strikes by the Russian military on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and other locations on Monday, were deeply shocking and represented “another unacceptable escalation” of the war.
The strikes which have reportedly caused widespread damage to civilian areas and led to dozens of deaths and injuries, showed that “as always”, civilians were paying the highest price for Russia’s invasion of 24 February, the statement released by the UN Spokesperson added.
UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said “This was “another day of anguish for Ukrainian people.”
Meanwhile, UN General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi said that the door for a diplomatic solution to end the fighting between Russia and Ukraine must be kept open, and any threat to use nuclear weapons, “universally condemned”. He was speaking at the latest meeting of the Emergency Special Session. Kőrösi said.
“When it becomes a daily routine to watch images of destroyed cities and scattered bodies, we lose our humanity”, he said. “We must find a political solution based on the UN Charter and the international law.”
He cited the General Assembly resolution adopted on 2 March, calling on Russian troops to withdraw from Ukrainian territory: “What is the alternative? A world without shared rules. A world without peace. A world without future.”
UKRAINE WAR; SECRET BALLOT
The 193-member UN General Assembly on Monday voted on a motion by Albania that action on the draft resolution that would condemn Russia’s “illegal so-called referendums” and “attempted illegal annexation” of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine be taken by a recorded vote.
Russia had demanded that the resolution be voted upon by secret ballot. Moscow’s demand for a secret ballot was rejected after 107 UN member states, including India, voted in favour of a recorded vote.
Russia’s Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia said that his country had been deprived of the ability to present its case, by the Assembly President himself. Russia was simply looking for fair compromise he said, but instead, “such cynicism, confrontation and dangerous polarisation as today, we have never seen in the history of the UN.”
He said all aspects of the Ukraine crisis that did not suit Western powers, had been conveniently overlooked, and what he called the “Western camp” had no real interest in peace, ignoring Russia’s proposals in the Security Council.
“As we hear from their statements, peace in Ukraine is not something they need in principle”, and part of the NATO alliance’s plan to at least severely undermine Russia.
“Ukraine was chosen by these countries for that purpose, was brought under their control and today is a platform for the testing of NATO weaponry and for combat against Russia, using other people”, he said.
He accused Ukraine of an “outrageous” act of terrorism in “sabotaging” Russia’s bridge to Crimea. He said Russia could not stand by and let Ukraine act “with impunity”.