The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence has promised revenge after Russian missiles and drones pummelled Kyiv on Monday morning, the latest in a number of assaults on the capital.
Russian forces fired 11 ballistic and cruise missiles at Kyiv about 11.30am on Monday, forcing locals to leave work and take shelter in metro stations.
The head of Ukraine's military intelligence, General Kyrylo Budanov, warned of a swift response to the attacks.
“All those who tried to intimidate us, dreaming that it would have some effect, you will regret it very soon," he said in a statement published by Ukraine's intelligence ministry.
“Our answer will not be long.”
Ukrainian officials said all the missiles were shot down and there are no reports of deaths.
The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said one person had been hospitalised after a strike on the Podilskyi district and urged residents to stay indoors.
Debris from the intercepted missiles fell in Kyiv’s central and northern districts during the morning, landing in the middle of traffic on a city road and also starting a fire on a building’s roof, the Kyiv military administration said.
The blasts unnerved some locals, already under strain after being awakened by the night attack.
“After what happened last night, I react sharply to every siren now. I was terrified, and I’m still trembling,” shared Alina Ksenofontova, a 50-year-old woman who took refuge in the Kyiv subway with her dog Bublik.
Russia used Iskander short-range missiles in the morning attack, the spokesman for Ukraine’s air force said on local television.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it launched a series of strikes on Monday targeting Ukrainian air bases with precision long-range air-launched missiles. The strikes destroyed command posts, radars, aircraft and ammunition stockpiles, it claimed. It did not comment on hitting cities or other civilian areas.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned against indifference, saying the repeated strikes on civilian areas amounted to “war crimes.”
“Russia’s drone and missile attacks on peaceful Ukrainian cities cannot be seen as usual, no matter how frequent they grow,” he tweeted in English.
During the previous night, Ukraine air defenses brought down more than 40 targets as Russian forces bombarded Kyiv with a combination of drones and cruise missiles in their 15th night-time attack on the capital this month, according to Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration.
On Saturday night, Kyiv was subjected to the largest drone attack since the start of Russia’s war. At least one person was killed, local officials said.
Meanwhile, in the Belgorod region of Russia on the border with Ukraine, one person was killed by Ukrainian shelling of the village of Grafovka, according to governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.
Russian missiles also slammed into a military airport in the western Khmelnytskyi region of Ukraine, destroying five aircraft and damaging the runway, local governor Serhyi Hamaliy said on television.
The strike sparked fires at nearby warehouses storing fuel and military equipment, he added.
In other developments, the European Union's top diplomatJosep Borrell on Monday said he believed Russia will only be willing to negotiate if it wins the war in Ukraine, adding that he was “not optimistic” about what could happen in the conflict this summer.
“I see Russia's clear intent to win the war,” he told an event in Barcelona. “Russia will not go into a negotiation if it doesn't win the war.”
He went on: “I'm afraid that between now and the summer, the war is going to continue. Putin has amassed over 300,000 men there, twice as many as he had when he launched the invasion.”
Russia's military presence in Ukraine was “enormous” and it was still bombing Ukraine daily and destroying civilian infrastructure, he added.