Putin speaks of “massive attack” on Ukraine and warns of “tough response” to Kiev’s “terrorism”

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Moscow says it has achieved its objectives and stresses that it attacked energy facilities, command posts and communications centers

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday threatened a “harsh response” against Ukraine if it “continues its acts of terrorism” after the Russian Army carried out a “massive attack” on the Ukrainian capital Kiev and other cities following an explosion on Saturday on the Kerch Bridge, which connects the country to the Crimean peninsula, annexed in 2014.

Thus, he has confirmed “a massive attack with high-precision and long-range weapons” against various points in Ukraine and has indicated that they have been carried out “at the suggestion of the Ministry of Defense.” Putin said that they have hit “energy facilities, military commands and communications centers”, he detailed.

“If attempts to carry out terrorist attacks against our territory continue, Russia’s responses will be tough and on a scale corresponding to the level of threats against the Russian Federation,” he said during a meeting with members of the Russian Security Council, Russian news agency TASS reported.

“No one should have any doubts about that,” Putin has outlined, stressing that “the Kiev regime, with its actions, has put itself on a par with international terrorist groups.” “It is simply impossible to leave these crimes unanswered,” he has argued.

He has also branded as “nuclear terrorism” the attacks by Ukrainian forces against the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, under control of Russian troops, and denounced that Ukrainian special services “have carried out three terrorist attacks against the Kursk nuclear power plant in Russia.”

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Putin has stated that these “attacks” have caused the cutting of three high voltage lines and has defended that “with the measures taken, the damage was eliminated as soon as possible, without serious consequences”, as reported by the Interfax news agency.

“The Kiev regime has been using terrorist methods for a long time,” he stressed, before accusing Ukraine of the “murder of public figures, journalists and scientists, both in Ukraine and in Russia.” “There have been terrorist attacks in the Donbas for more than eight years. There are acts of nuclear terrorism,” he said.

In this vein, he has denounced “several terrorist attacks and criminal attempts against power facilities and gas infrastructure in the country, including an attempt to undermine one of the sections of the Turkish Stream.” Putin has further noted that while Russia is not allowed to participate in the investigation into the alleged sabotage of Nord Stream, “the ultimate beneficiary” is known.

For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that the latest bombings “are part of the special military operation.” “We have to wait for the Defense Ministry’s comments,” he argued, while pointing out that “the main points of the special military operation cannot be carried out without informing the commander-in-chief.”

Peskov further noted that Moscow has not received any signals about the possibility of negotiations between Russia and Western countries such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, although he confirmed that the matter could be discussed soon between Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov has defended that “the objective of the attacks” against Ukraine “has been achieved.” “All the set targets have been achieved,” he said, before adding that Russian forces have repelled offensive attempts by the Ukrainian Army in several areas of eastern Ukraine.

“In the direction of Kupiansk, the enemy, using four tactical groupings, has carried out futile attempts of offensive operations towards the settlements of Kislovka, Tabaevka, Kharkov and Kuzemovka,” he has detailed, before indicating that the Ukrainian forces tried “unsuccessfully” to cross the Zerebets River in the vicinity of Makeyevka and Taigorodka, in the Lugansk region.

“All attempts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to establish crossings on the river have been prevented by concentrated rocket and artillery fire,” said Konashenkov, who also indicated that attacks in the vicinity of Krivi Róg have been repulsed. “Active actions of the Russian troops repulsed the enemy and pushed them back to their starting positions,” he said.

Thus, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman has emphasized that “the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in this direction over the past day amounted to 60 servicemen, nine tanks, 16 armored vehicles and 17 vehicles.”

Local authorities have so far confirmed the death of eight people from the attacks on Kiev, while four have died in Sloviansk and another has died in Zaporiyia. Shelling has hit other cities including Lviv, Kharkov, Yitomir and Dnipro.

The attacks come hours after the Russian president accused the Ukrainian secret services of the “terrorist attack” on Saturday on the Kerch bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean peninsula, which left it partially disabled and left at least three dead.

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