James Snell

Russian terror bombing arrives in Ukraine

The attacks on Kyiv are intended to create nothing but fear

The aftermath of this morning's strikes on Kyiv (Credit: Getty images)

It depends on when you are reading this but it’s possible that as you do, Russian missiles are still falling on Kyiv. The Ukrainian capital, and cities across the country, have been subject to a devastating missile barrage last night and this morning.

The attacks on Kyiv are intended to create nothing but terror. Missiles fell in succession on civilian areas: children’s playgrounds, ordinary business areas, office buildings. They arrived at the height of the morning rush hour, hoping to kill as many commuters and families as possible, and the drumbeat has continued after that.

Residential and business areas of the Ukrainian capital that had broadly been spared missile and drone attack are now targets.

Yesterday, it was the turn of Zaporizhzhia – a city Russia claims to control as the de jure capital of its newly ‘annexed’ Zaporozhye Oblast – to be bombed. There, the missiles hit apartment buildings over and over again. Rescue workers said it was unlike anything they had seen before.

Ukrainian fury is wholly justified

These attacks are senseless. They serve no military purpose. Children in playgrounds have no use in combat, after all. Very little battlefield advantage is gained by forcing inhabitants of the Ukrainian capital temporarily into metro stations to shelter.

This appears to be a move of almost pure viciousness and vindictiveness from the Russian side, in reaction to the bombing of the Kerch bridge. Before its partial destruction, the bridge used to connect occupied Crimea to Russia proper. Ukrainians had long threatened the bridge and promised its destruction. Its eventual bombing looks like a triumph of Ukrainian special operations.

As compensation for the bombing of the bridge, these attacks are not of the same kind. They hit nothing militarily significant. The Kerch bridge was a vital artery of Russian logistics, which supplied the occupying forces in Crimea.

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