BBC journalist takes cover as Russian missiles hit Kiev behind him during live broadcast

ONE BBC journalist was forced to take cover during a live broadcast this morning when Russian missiles crashed Kiev behind him.

Ukraine’s capital was hit by several strikes today – amid reports of explosions in several other cities – as Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s revenge for an explosion that paralyzed the Crimean Bridge was underway.

At 8:18 local time, the BBC’s correspondent in Kiev, Hugo Bachega, delivered a news report on a roof in front of the city’s iconic St. Michael’s golden-domed monastery when the sound of a rocket could be heard roaring overhead.

At 8.18am local time, the BBC's correspondent in Kiev, Hugo Bachega (pictured), delivered a news report on a roof in front of the city's iconic St.  Michael's golden-domed monastery when the sound of a rocket could be heard roaring overhead

At 8.18am local time, the BBC’s correspondent in Kiev, Hugo Bachega (pictured), delivered a news report on a roof in front of the city’s iconic St. Michael’s golden-domed monastery when the sound of a rocket could be heard roaring overhead

He stopped his report in mid-sentence to glance behind him before an explosion could be heard ringing out in the distance – forcing him to duck without the camera looking out over the city.

The footage cut back to the studio where a concerned-looking news anchor Sally Bundock told viewers that Mr Bachega was ‘for obvious reasons taking cover at the time’.

It was not immediately clear whether the rocket sound was from a missile or a jet. The correspondent was reporting as ‘several’ explosions rocked Kyiv’s city centre, the BBC said.

Bachega and his crew later spoke to the BBC to confirm they were safe, the broadcaster said reported. He and his crew went to a shelter under their hotel and contacted the BBC about an hour after the incident, it said.

Later speaking from the shelter, which appeared to be an underground car park, Bachega told viewers: ‘We are here under the shelter of our hotel. Obviously we came here after we heard the sound of what appeared to be a missile here over Kiyv.

‘It hit somewhere very close to our hotel here in the city centre. We understand that there have been several explosions here in the capital.

“We had an update from the emergency services saying that several people have been killed and injured as a result of these attacks that happened after 8 o’clock in the morning here in Kiev,” Bachega continued.

Ukraine's capital was hit by several strikes today amid reports of explosions in at least two other cities - as Russian President Vladimir Putin's revenge for an explosion that paralyzed the Crimean Bridge got under way.  Image: BBC correspondent Hugo Bachega reports from Kiev

Ukraine’s capital was hit by several strikes today amid reports of explosions in at least two other cities – as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s revenge for an explosion that paralyzed the Crimean Bridge got under way. Image: BBC correspondent Hugo Bachega reports from Kiev

Bachega (pictured) stopped his report mid-sentence to glance behind him before an explosion could be heard ringing out in the distance - forcing him to duck down

Bachega (pictured) stopped his report mid-sentence to glance behind him before an explosion could be heard ringing out in the distance – forcing him to duck down

Footage cut back to the studio where a concerned-looking news anchor (pictured) told viewers that Bachega was 'obviously under cover at the time'

Footage cut back to the studio where a concerned-looking news anchor (pictured) told viewers that Bachega was ‘obviously under cover at the time’

“All morning we have been talking about the possibility and the fear here in Ukraine of a strong Russian reaction to the explosion on Saturday that hit the Crimean bridge.

‘[It was] a very significant explosion because the bridge is very symbolic. It was opened by President Putin in 2018. It is a personal project to perhaps symbolize that Crimea was Russia, so it is very important to President Putin personally.

‘There were fears today that there would be some response from Russia and it looks like we are seeing that this morning – with the capital being attacked and several cities across the country being hit.’

A number of people were killed and wounded in the attacks in Kiev, officials said, although the exact number is currently unclear. The capital has been spared strikes in recent months after Ukraine’s forces pushed Moscow’s armies back east.

One missile hit close to a monument to Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, a Ukrainian statesman, while another hit the Shevchenkivskyy district – both in the center of the city. Videos showed cars on fire in the streets.

Meanwhile, there were reports of further strikes on the city of Zaporizhzhia – where more than 40 people have been killed by shelling in recent days – and Dnipro in central Ukraine.

It is the first time in months that Kyiv has been directly hit, and it comes as Vladimir Putin meets with his security council today to plot his revenge for a weekend bomb blast that paralyzed the Kerch bridge from Russia to Crimea.

Putin has blamed Ukraine for the explosion, describing it as an ‘act of terrorism’.

Supporters of the Russian president had urged the despot to ‘stop talking’ and ‘painfully beat’ the Kyiv regime ahead of his Security Council meeting, despite the Kremlin downplaying fears of a nuclear response.

Ukrainian civilians had been warned by the deputy governor of Russia’s southern Stavropol region, Valery Chernitsov, to expect a critical response.

In a threatening video posted on Twitter, he said: ‘Ukrainians, leave your cities, especially the big ones. Because a big surprise is waiting for you. Sarmat missiles are ready to attack.’

Several people have been killed and injured in attacks on Kiev this morning, amid reports of explosions across Ukraine.  Image: Cars are seen on fire after Russian missile strikes, as Russia's offensive continues, in Kiev on Monday

Several people have been killed and injured in attacks on Kiev this morning, amid reports of explosions across Ukraine. Image: Cars are seen on fire after Russian missile strikes, as Russia’s offensive continues, in Kiev on Monday

Rescue workers examine the site of a Russian attack on Kiev, Ukraine on Monday

Rescue workers examine the site of a Russian attack on Kiev, Ukraine on Monday

Cars are seen on fire after Russian missile strikes, as Russia's offensive continues, in Kiev, Monday

Cars are seen on fire after Russian missile strikes, as Russia’s offensive continues, in Kiev, Monday

But it was Putin’s former adviser Sergei Markov who urged his former boss to ‘punish’ Ukraine as well as its allies after the destruction of the Kerch bridge in Crimea, the Telegraph reports.

“It’s time for Russia to stop talking and instead start beating them silently and painfully,” he said, sparking fears of how Putin will react.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hit back at his counterpart’s terror claims, highlighting Russian missile strikes on Zaporizhzhia, which he says have killed at least 43 people this week alone.

In a video addressed to the world, the Kyiv leader said: ‘The constant terror against the civilian population is a blatant Russian refusal to engage in real negotiations.

“Terrorism is a crime that must be punished. Terrorism at the state level is one of the most heinous international crimes, which threatens not just anyone in the world, but the entire international community.’

Ukraine’s top general said Ukrainian forces shot down at least 41 missiles.

‘This morning 75 missiles were fired. 41 of them were neutralized by our air defenses,’ wrote General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, on Twitter.

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