Vladimir Putin says missile attack against Ukraine was revenge – ‘Panic and chaos’ | World | News

The Russian President has blamed Ukraine for the bombing of a vital bridge that links Russia and Crimea, which he has previously described as an ”act of terrorism”. Vladimir Putin has said the widespread missile attack on Ukraine was in retaliation for “terrorist action” against Russia.

At least 14 people have been killed and 97 injured in the Russian missile attack across Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s National Police, and several areas have been left without electricity and water.

President Putin spoke at a meeting of Russia’s Security Council and said: “If attacks continue against Russia, the response will be harsh.

“The responses will be of the same scale as the threats to Russia.

“In the event of further attempts to carry out terrorist acts on our territory, Russia’s response will be harsh.”

In response to the missile attacks, President Zelensky said: “They want panic and chaos, they want to destroy our energy system.

“The second target is people. Such a time and such targets were specially chosen to cause as much damage as possible.”

Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova said that several missile attacks continued on Monday afternoon in several cities outside of Ukraine’s capital.

Other cities that were struck include Lviv, Ternopil, Dnipro, Zhytomyr, and Zaporizhzhia.

She added that Ukrainian forces had managed to intercept 45 out of 83 missiles, which included nine kamikaze drones.

READ MORE: Zelensky begs West for air defence after Russian missile attacks

The missile strikes on Ukraine have been condemned across the world, and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply shocked” by the attack.

He said the missiles were “another unacceptable escalation of the war” in which civilians were being impacted.

The European Union has said a war crime has been committed by Russia, and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission said Russia had shown the world it stands for “brutality and terror”.

US President Joe Biden said the attack showed “the utter brutality” of President Putin’s “illegal war”.

The White House has confirmed that President Biden has spoken with President Zelensky and that he “pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defence systems”.

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Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the former prime minister of Ukraine, said in an interview with Sky News that Russia had targeted “critical infrastructure” in the missile attack which will cause power cuts and put hospitals in “jeopardy”.

He added that the West were right to condemn the attacks, but there needed to be “clear-cut strong and bold actions” against Russia.

President Putin has warned he was ready to authorise more “severe” attacks, and Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, said: “The first episode has been played. There will be others”.

Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus and a close ally of President Putin, has said he has ordered troops to deploy alongside Russian forces near Ukraine, a possible sign that the Russian President is planning to escalate the attacks against Ukraine. 

President Lukashenko has accused Ukraine of planning attacks against Belarus alongside Western allies, and said: “This is crazy from the point of the military. Nevertheless, the process has begun. Their owners are pushing them to unleash a war against Belarus in order to drag us in.”

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