Missile strikes across Ukraine after Russia blames Kyiv for drone attack

Part of capital cut off from power and water supplies due to barrage

Smoke rises on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, during a Russian missile attack on October 31, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues. Reuters
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Missile strikes were reported early on Monday across Ukraine, including the capital, after Russia blamed Kyiv for a drone attack against its Black Sea Fleet.

Part of the capital was cut off from power and water supplies due to the barrage, Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Engineers were working to restore power on Monday to 350,000 people.

Critical infrastructure was hit in the Cherkasy region south-east of Kyiv, and explosions were reported in other regions of Ukraine. In Kirovohrad, central Ukraine, the energy plant was hit, local authorities said.

In Vinnytsia, a missile that was shot down landed on civilian buildings, resulting in damage but no casualties, said regional governor Serhii Borzov.

In Kharkiv, the subway stopped operating. Some parts of Ukrainian railways were also cut off from power, the Ukrainian Railways reported.

Possible power cuts in the cities of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia were also reported.

The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said that Russian forces “continue to fight with civilian facilities”.

“We will persevere, and generations of Russians will pay a high price for their disgrace,” Mr Yermak said.

The strikes mark the second time this month that Russia has unleashed a massive barrage against Ukrainian infrastructure.

People check their phones as they shelter inside a metro station after shelling in Kyiv during the missile strikes. EPA

On October 10, a similar attack rocked the country following an explosion on the Kerch bridge linking annexed Crimea to mainland Russia — an incident Moscow blamed on Kyiv.

The new strikes come two days after Russia accused Ukraine of a drone attack against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the coast of the Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine denied the attack, saying that Russia mishandled its own weapons, but Moscow still announced it was halting its participation in a UN-brokered deal to allow safe passage of ships carrying grain from Ukraine.

The US, accusing Russia of “weaponising food”, led international condemnation of Russia’s move, along with the EU.

The UN-brokered deal came into effect in July after warnings that a halt in exports from Ukraine could lead to severe global food shortages and famine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the grain deal an “essential, life-saving initiative”, saying it has led to more than 9 million tonnes of food being shipped and helped bring down global prices.

“Any act by Russia to disrupt these critical grain exports is essentially a statement that people and families around the world should pay more for food or go hungry,” he said.

Several million tonnes of grain have been exported under the agreement, which was also brokered by Turkey.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Moscow was using “false pretexts” to block grain exports.

The EU called on Russian leaders to change their decision and allow grain exports.

“Russia's decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea deal puts at risk the main export route of much-needed grain and fertilisers to address the global food crisis caused by its war against Ukraine,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

“The EU urges Russia to [reverse] its decision.”

Updated: October 31, 2022, 10:20 AM