Russian strikes on Ukraine demonstrate Putin's 'utter brutality,' says Biden

Russia launched missiles that killed at least 11 people across Ukraine in response for bombing of Crimea bridge

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US President Joe Biden on Monday accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of “utter brutality” for unleashing a barrage of missile strikes that killed at least 11 people across Ukraine.

“These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose. They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people,” Mr Biden said.

Drone and missile strikes hit at least 10 areas of Ukraine on Monday, according to officials in Kyiv, including the first major attacks in the capital in months.

At least 11 people were killed and scores more were injured, according to police. The strikes hit key energy facilities in some regions, officials said, causing power outages.

Speaking at the opening of a meeting of Russia's Security Council, Mr Putin said “a massive strike was carried out with long-range, high-precision air, sea and land-based weapons on Ukraine's energy, military command and communications facilities”.

In a televised address, Mr Putin warned of more violence if Kyiv were to counter with attacks like the strike on the Crimea bridge linking the annexed peninsula to Russia.

“These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Mr Biden said.

“Alongside our allies and partners, we will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression, hold Putin and Russia accountable for its atrocities and war crimes, and provide the support necessary for Ukrainian forces to defend their country and their freedom.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also reiterated his support for Kyiv, and said in a tweet that he spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba following “the Kremlin's horrific strikes”.

“Russian bombs hit children’s playgrounds and public parks in Kyiv; wave after wave of missiles struck Kyiv’s city streets and damaged heating and targets without military purpose throughout Ukraine,” Mr Blinken said.

I extend my deepest sympathies to the people of Ukraine who have lost loved ones today. The United States stands with you.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN called on the international community to rebuke Russia in an coming General Assembly vote on Moscow's attempt at illegal annexations of Ukrainian territory.

“Russia's barbaric attacks on civilians today only heighten the stakes. We must stand together with conviction. Now is not the time for placation or abstentions,” she said.

Democratic Rep Adam Smith, Chairman of the House armed services committee, joined the administration in condemning the series of strikes.

“[The strikes] have cruelly taken the lives of innocent civilians. We will continue to support the Ukrainian people with security, economic, and humanitarian aid as they stand against Putin’s war,” Mr Smith tweeted.

The UN warned on Monday that the wave of attacks have created setbacks for humanitarian operations in the besieged country, particularly hampering the movement of aid workers and delivery of emergency supplies in the east.

“The new escalation of Russia’s war on Ukraine comes at a time when nearly 18 million people across the country are already facing life-threatening humanitarian needs following nearly eight months of ferocious fighting,” the UN said.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US and dozens of other countries have levied sanctions against Moscow aimed at blocking investment and exports, among other measures.

The administration recently faced bipartisan scepticism from Congress over the sanctions regime's capacity to halt Russian violence in Ukraine.

US and UN leaders condemn 'unacceptable' Russian strikes on Ukraine

This handout picture taken and released by National Police of Ukraine on October 10, 2022, shows a residential building damaged after a strike on Zaporizhzhia, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  (Photo by Handout  /  National Police of Ukraine  /  AFP)  /  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO  /  HO - NATIONAL POLICE OF UKRAINE " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Updated: October 10, 2022, 8:49 PM