BBC reporter in Ukraine ducks for cover live on air as explosions hit central Kyiv

Watch: BBC reporter takes cover on air as explosions hit Kyiv

A BBC reporter was forced to duck for cover as the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was rocked by a series of explosions.

Journalist Hugo Bachega was broadcasting live on Monday from the Shevchenko district – a lively, urban area of the city – when what is believed to have been a Russian missile strike hit the capital.

While he talking to camera, the sound of a missile could be heard overhead and a subsequent explosion forced him to move out of the way.

Hugo Bachega (BBC)
BBC journalist Hugo Bachega looks up as an apparent missile strike is about to hit Kyiv, Ukraine. (BBC)
Hugo Bachega (BBC)
The BBC's Hugo Bachega ducks for cover as a Russian missile strike hits Kyiv, Ukraine. (BBC)

He ducked for cover as he delivered his piece on BBC World, and he and his crew moved to a safer area.

Bachega later broadcast from a car park underneath a hotel in Kyiv.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has been accused of targeting civilians in Ukraine in what a UK minister called a "vile" attack.

The apparent strikes appear to be Putin's retaliation for an attack on a bridge linking Russia and Crimea.

Hugo Bachega (BBC)
BBC correspondent Hugo Bachega moved to a safer location in a hotel car park to broadcast. (BBC)

It was the first time Russia has targeted Kyiv for months, while there were also reports of explosions in Dnipro, Lviv, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr and Kropyvnytskyi.

UK security minister Tom Tugendhat branded the strikes on Ukrainian cities “war crimes”.

He said: "Targeting civilians is a vile act. Russian war crimes start as a record of failure and disgrace.”

Read more: British general spells out destruction caused if Putin launches nuclear strike in Ukraine

The timing of the attacks suggests they were a response to Ukraine’s strike against the Kerch Bridge, the crossing between Russia and annexed Crimea which has both strategic and symbolic importance.

Putin called the attack “a terrorist act” that he said was masterminded by Ukrainian special services.

The attack on Kyiv resulted in explosions in the city’s Shevchenko district, a central area that includes the historic old town as well as several government offices.

Cars are seen on fire after Russian missile strikes, as Russia's attack continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 10, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Cars on fire after Russian missile strikes in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday. (Reuters)
Cars burn after Russian military strike, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in central Kyiv, Ukraine October 10, 2022.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man flees a burning vehicle after a Russian military strike on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Monday. (Reuters)

Lesia Vasylenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, posted a photo on Twitter showing that at least one explosion occurred near the main building of the Kyiv National University, in central Kyiv.

“What is Russia trying to hit?” she asked. “The national university? The park? Or the playground?”

A glass pedestrian bridge, which had been a popular attraction, was also struck.

“People would have been jogging this morning,” said Vasylenko.

Police in Kyiv said at least five people had been killed and 12 wounded.

"They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth," said Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky.

"The air raid sirens do not subside throughout Ukraine. There are missiles hitting. Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded."

Watch: Attack on bridge a 'terrorist act', says Vladimir Putin