Explosions have rocked multiple cities across Ukraine, including missile attacks on the capital Kyiv for the first time in months.
This came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin called a Saturday explosion on the bridge connecting Russia to Crimea, the territory it annexed in 2014, a “terrorist act” masterminded by Ukrainian special services.
At least eight people were killed and 24 were injured in just one of the Kyiv attacks, according to preliminary information, said Rostyslav Smirnov, an adviser to the Ukrainian ministry of internal affairs.
The blasts follow months of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported explosions in the city’s Shevchenko district, a large central area which is home to the historic old town, as well as several government offices.
Lesia Vasylenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, posted a photo on Twitter showing that at least one explosion occurred near the main building of the Kyiv National University in central Kyiv.
The last previous attack on Kyiv was in June.
But unlike previous attacks that mostly hit Kyiv’s outskirts, Monday’s strike targeted several locations in the centre of the city.
Explosions were also reported in Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in Ukraine’s west, and in Dnipro in central Ukraine.
Recent fighting has focused on the regions just north of Crimea, including Zaporizhia, where six missiles were launched overnight Saturday from Russian-occupied areas.
The attacks on Kyiv and other cities came a few hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to hold a meeting with his security council.