There had also been reports in retaliation to the explosion of the bridge that Western media refused to report on. There are now Russians chanting on the streets of Moscow saying that the Russian government should nuke Washington.
Without these news reports making it into Western mainstream media, Americans believe that the prospect of nuclear war is something inconceivable. It is not.
According to reports, Russians towed a nuclear missile right in front of the American Embassy in Moscow as they sent a message in the strongest language that they possibly can: Don't push the Kremlin into declaring nuclear war.
What is clear, however, is that Russian President Vladimir Putin believed the attack to be from Ukraine and he has targeted Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Lviv, Ternopil, Dnipro, Zhytomyr and Zaporizhzhia with deadly missile strikes in retaliation for its "terrorist action" against Russian territory. A total of 14 people were killed while dozens more were injured.
In his televised remarks, Putin said Moscow had launched long-range missile attacks against Ukraine's energy, military and communications infrastructure on Monday, Oct. 10.
Putin said the strikes were in retaliation for the attack on the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to the Crimean Peninsula. Moreover, Putin claimed that Ukraine "tried to blow up" the TurkStream natural gas pipeline. He also said at the meeting of Russia's Security Council that if the attacks continue against Russia, the response will be harsh and that it will be "of the same scale as the threats to Russia."
Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova said that the missile attacks continued on Monday afternoon in cities other than Kyiv, adding that around 45 of the 83 missiles were intercepted by Ukrainian forces, including nine kamikaze drones. The head of Ukraine's law enforcement noted that Monday's attacks damaged 70 infrastructure sites, 29 of which are critical.
Andriy Yermak, a senior advisor to Zelensky, said the strikes had no "practical military sense" and that Russia simply wanted to cause a "humanitarian catastrophe."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video that the Russians "want panic and chaos" by destroying Ukraine's energy system. "The second target is people. Such a time and such targets were specially chosen to cause as much damage as possible," he said.
Ukraine also denied any involvement in the bridge attack.
Putin had been under intense domestic pressure to take more aggressive action to stop a largely successful Ukrainian counteroffensive and to react forcefully to the Oct. 8 attack on the Kerch bridge.
His increasing descriptions of "terrorist" Ukrainian actions could also portend more bold and draconian responses.
The European Union has condemned Russia's attacks and said that targeting civilians amounted to a "war crime," as Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed the "massive strike with long-range precision weapons." However, they claimed that the missiles only targeted "objects of the military command and control, communications and energy systems of Ukraine" and that "all assigned objects were hit."
Some feared that Monday's attacks may just be the first salvo in a renewed Russian offensive, and Ukraine switched all schools to online learning until at least the end of the week. (Related: Russian lawmaker: Attack on Crimean Bridge "a declaration of war without rules" against Russia.)
In an ominous move that can be taken as another sign of possible escalation, Putin's closest ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, announced that he and Putin have agreed to create a joint "regional grouping of troops" but offered no additional details. He only repeated his claims that Ukraine is plotting an attack on Belarus with its western backers, sparking fears that he would take preemptive actions.
Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin later issued a video warning Ukraine not to provoke Belarus.
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