Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

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Several large explosions hit Kyiv city center

Several large blasts hit the center of Ukrainian capital Kyiv Monday, according to witnesses and city officials, after

State Emergency Services told Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne that the explosions had caused causing deaths and injuries, according to Reuters, though the casualty number is unknown.

“Several explosions in the Shevchenkiv district – in the center of the capital. All services follow to place. Details later,” Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitchko said on Telegram, according to a Google translation.

Ukrainians had been bracing themselves for a retaliatory attack after an explosion destroyed part of Russia’s Kerch bridge on Saturday, the only bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean peninsula, which it annexed illegally in 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the bridge explosion a “terrorist attack” and accused Ukrainian forces of being behind it.

— Natasha Turak

Putin calls Kerch bridge destruction a ‘terrorist attack’

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech during a ceremony formally annexing four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy, at the Kremlin in Moscow on September 30, 2022.

Gavriil Grigorov | AFP | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to convene his national security council Monday to focus on the explosion that destroyed part of Russia’s Kerch bridge — the only bridge connecting the country to the Crimean Peninsula, which it illegally annexed in 2014.

Putin has called the blast on the strategically important infrastructure a “terrorist attack” and blamed it on Ukrainian special services.

There are worries among Russia watchers that the meeting will be used to escalate the war with Ukraine, and comes just weeks after Putin threatened to use all means at his disposal — which includes nuclear weapons — to defend Russian territory.

— Natasha Turak

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