Ukraine cities bombed in apparent revenge strikes

STORY: Explosions shook Ukraine's capital Kyiv on Monday (October 10) as well as the cities of Lviv, Ternopil and Dnipro.

Thick smoke was seen rising from central Kyiv after several loud blasts.

A huge crater gaped next to a children's playground in a central Kyiv park.

The remains of an apparent missile were buried, smoking in the mud.

Elsewhere cars were seen completely wrecked, blackened and pitted with shrapnel.

This video shot by Reuters showed emergency services tending to injured people.

It comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of a terrorist attack on this bridge linking Russia and Crimea.

A powerful blast on Saturday (October 8) partially destroyed the roadway, a key supply route for Moscow's forces in southern Ukraine.

Speaking on Sunday (October 9) President Vladimir Putin said the attack was aimed at destroying quote "Russia's critically important civilian infrastructure."

And that it was devised, carried out and ordered by the Ukrainian special services.

Putin was in a briefing with this man: the head of Russia's investigative committee, Alexander Bastrykin,

to hear the findings of an inquiry into the blast.

A vehicle, he said, had travelled through Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia and Russia’s Kasnador region

before arriving and exploding on the bridge.

He also said "citizens of Russia and foreign countries" were among those who helped Ukrainian special services prepare.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion, but it did prompt gleeful messages from Ukrainian officials.

Not only was the bridge an important supply route but also a major artery for the port of Sevastopol, where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based.

It had been an imposing symbol of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Its partial destruction comes amid battlefield defeats for Russia, and at a time of heightened concern that Russia could resort to using nuclear weapons after Putin in recent weeks repeatedly cautioned the West that any attack on Russia could provoke a nuclear response.

Images show part of the bridge's roadway blown away, causing huge queues of cars to line up on Sunday.

However rail services and partial road traffic have resumed.

Russia's defence ministry said on Saturday its forces in southern Ukraine could still be "fully supplied" through existing land and sea routes.