‘Sickening’: World reacts as explosions rock Ukrainian cities

World leaders and international organisations condemn Russia’s nationwide assault on Ukraine.

Cars burn after Russian military strike, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in central Kyiv.
Cars burn after Russian military attack hits central Kyiv on October 10, 2022[Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Several people were killed in a wave of deadly Russian air attacks on the capital, Kyiv, on Monday, with other cities also attacked.

Ukrainian officials called on citizens nationwide to seek shelter amid the ongoing bombardment.

The death toll was not immediately clear. At least 11 people were killed in Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s emergency services.

Other cities that were hit include Lviv, in the west, and Dnipro.

The attacks were the Kremlin’s response to an explosion over the weekend that damaged a strategically important bridge for Russian forces, connecting the annexed Crimean Peninsula to mainland Russia.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the bridge attack, but some officials did celebrate the incident.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on his Telegram account that Russia was “trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth”.

“Please do not leave [bomb] shelters,” he wrote. “Let’s hold on and be strong.”

Zelenskyy said Russia was trying to destroy Ukraine and that common people on their way to work during the Monday morning rush had been killed.

“They have two targets. Energy facilities throughout the country … the second target is people,” he added.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Putin’s “only tactic is terror on peaceful Ukrainian cities”.

“He will not break Ukraine down. This is also his response to all appeasers who want to talk with him about peace: Putin is a terrorist who talks with missiles,” Kuleba tweeted.

European Union

The president of the European Parliament said the strikes in Kyiv were “sickening”.

“It shows the world, again, the regime we are faced with: One that targets indiscriminately. One that rains terror and death down on children,” Roberta Metsola tweeted.

Damaged building.
A view shows a civilian warehouse damaged by a Russian missile attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 10, 2022 [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU believes Russia’s missile attack on civilians in Ukraine “amounts to a war crime”.

“Indiscriminately targeting people in a cowardly, heinous hail of missiles on civilian targets is indeed a further escalation,” spokesman Peter Stano said.

“The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms these heinous attacks on the civilians and civilian infrastructure … This is something which is against international humanitarian law and this indiscriminate targeting of civilians amounts to a war crime,” he said.

United Nations

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “deeply shocked” by Russia’s air raids, a spokesman said.

“This constitutes another unacceptable escalation of the war and, as always, civilians are paying the highest price,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, Denise Brown, said the attacks were “shocking”.

“People on their way to work, parents taking their children to school. There is no excuse for this violence. Stop!” she added.

United States

US President Joe Biden strongly condemned Russia’s missile strikes, saying they “demonstrate the utter brutality” of Putin’s “illegal war.”

“These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose,” Biden said in a statement. “We will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba “to reiterate US support for Ukraine following the Kremlin’s horrific strikes this morning”.

“We will continue to provide unwavering economic, humanitarian, and security assistance so Ukraine can defend itself and take care of its people,” Blinken tweeted.

A smoke rises over the city after Russian missile strikes, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Lviv,
Smoke rises over the city after Russian missile attacks in Lviv, Ukraine, October 10, 2022 [Pavlo Palamarchuk/Reuters]


The Group of Seven (G7) countries will hold talks on Tuesday after Russia’s missile attacks, a German government spokesperson said.

Zelenskyy will address the G7 leaders at the start of the virtual talks, said the spokesperson, adding that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had assured the Ukrainian president of support in a phone call.


India was “deeply concerned” by the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, a spokesman for the country’s foreign ministry said.

“We reiterate that escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest. We urge immediate cessation of hostilities and the urgent return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue,” Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.


Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described the attacks as “horrific”.

“Spoke with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and condemned Russia’s horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said in a tweet.

“NATO will continue supporting the brave Ukrainian people to fight back against the Kremlin’s aggression for as long as it takes.”

United Kingdom

The attacks are “unacceptable”, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Monday.

“This is a demonstration of weakness by Putin, not strength,” he tweeted, adding that he had contacted his Ukrainian counterpart, Kuleba.


China’s Foreign Ministry called for de-escalation.

“We hope the situation will de-escalate soon,” ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing.

An injured woman
An injured woman receives medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 10, 2022 [Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo]


French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “extreme concern” during a call with Zelenskyy and promised that Paris would increase military aid.

“The president spoke of his extreme concern about strikes that have caused civilian victims,” Macron’s office said in a statement.

“He reaffirmed his full and complete support for President Zelensky and the commitment of France to increase its support for Ukraine, in line with the needs expressed by Kyiv, including in terms of military equipment.”


Moldova’s foreign minister said several Russian cruise missiles targeting Ukraine had crossed its airspace and Moscow’s envoy was summoned to give an explanation.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of the brutal strikes,” Nicu Popescu said on Twitter.


Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly called the attacks “shocking and horrifying”, adding that targeting civilians was a “war crime”.

“Canada stands with the people of Ukraine,” she tweeted.


Russian President Vladimir Putin said the raids on Monday were in retaliation for the alleged Ukrainian attack on a bridge to Crimea, which he has called an act of “terrorism”. Kyiv has not directly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Putin said the Russian military launched precision weapons from the air, sea and ground to target key energy and military command facilities.

“It was not possible to leave [Ukrainian attacks] unanswered. If they continue, the response from Russia will be severe and correspond to the level of threat,” the Russian president said at the beginning of a televised meeting of his Security Council.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies