Monday morning's series of missile strikes targeting Ukrainian infrastructure was a response to Kiev's long record of terrorist actions, including but not limited to Saturday's attack on the Crimean Bridge, Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated.
"It is obvious that Ukraine's special services were the masterminds, organizers and perpetrators of the terror attack [on the bridge]. The Kiev regime has been using terrorist methods for a long time," Putin said, speaking at a meeting of the Russian Security Council, Sputnik reported.
The president also recalled attempts by Ukraine's security services to target Russia's Kursk Nuclear Power Plant on three separate occasions, with the third attack damaging three high-voltage power lines going to the plant.
Kiev's "terrorist methods" have also included the murders of public figures, journalists, and scientists, both in Russia and in Ukraine, plus the "terrorist attacks against the cities of the Donbass" over the past eight years, plus "acts of atomic terrorism" - in the form of artillery strikes against the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, Putin said.
By its actions, Kiev "put itself on a par with the most odious terrorist groups", and it was "simply impossible to leave such crimes unanswered", Putin said.
"This morning, at the proposal of the Ministry of Defense and according to a plan [formulated by] the Russian General Staff, massed strikes were carried out using high-precision, long-range air, sea and land-based weapons against energy, military command and communications facilities of Ukraine. If attempts to carry out terrorist attacks against our territory continue, Russia's responses will be tough and will correspond in scale to the level of threat posed to the Russian Federation," he said.
The Defense Ministry reported separately on Monday that all targets had been hit, and the goal of the strikes achieved.
"But we all know the ultimate beneficiary of this crime," Putin said.
The Defense Ministry reported on Monday that all targets had been hit, and the goal of the strikes achieved.
"Today, the Russian Armed Forces carried out a massed strike using long-range precision weapons against the military command, communications and energy systems of Ukraine. The goal of the strikes was achieved. All designated targets were hit," Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a briefing.
Major cities across Ukraine reported attacks against critical infrastructure on Monday morning, with Kiev, Kharkov, Dnepr, Odessa, Krivoy Rog, Zhitomir, Ternopol, Khmelnitsky, Konotop, Lvov, and other cities reporting explosions, often followed by the loss of electrical power. Local authorities have reported that at least eight people were killed and 24 injured in the strikes. Ukrainian media said the air alert had been canceled early in the afternoon Monday.
The Russian military launched Monday's attack after Saturday's terror attack on the Crimean Bridge, which killed three people, caused part of the bridge's road section to collapse into the sea, and ignited oil tankers on the adjacent rail section. Light vehicle and train traffic via the undamaged rail portion and the surviving section of the roadway section has since resumed.
Ukrainian officials openly admitted Kiev's responsibility for the bridge attack.
"Today was not a bad day and mostly sunny on our state's territory. Unfortunately, it was cloudy in Crimea. Although it was also warm," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address Saturday night.