US vows 'unwavering' aid for Ukraine following 'horrific' Russian attacks

US to 'provide unwavering economic, humanitarian, and security assistance so Ukraine can defend itself,' says top diplomat.

US vows 'unwavering' aid for Ukraine following 'horrific' Russian attacks

The US vowed on Monday to remain steadfast in its support for Ukraine after Russia carried out mass strikes throughout the country that targeted critical infrastructure and civilian sites. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he conveyed the US's "unwavering" support during a bilateral telephone call with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, maintaining the Biden administration would do everything in its power to ensure Kyiv can maintain its self-defense.

During his call, Blinken said he reiterated "U.S. support for Ukraine following the Kremlin’s horrific strikes this morning."

"We will continue to provide unwavering economic, humanitarian, and security assistance so Ukraine can defend itself and take care of its people," the top diplomat said on Twitter.

The death toll from the Russian attacks across Ukraine rose to 11 with dozens wounded on Monday, authorities announced. Some 64 people were also injured during the shelling, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.

"If we talk about the whole of Ukraine, then, in addition to Kyiv, hits were recorded in 14 other regions of the state," said Mariana Reva, spokeswoman for the National Police of Ukraine.

In a video message released on Telegram, Zelenskyy said Ukraine's energy facilities and people were Russia's two main targets. The president reiterated his call for residents to stay in shelters.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Russian attacks damaged a total of 11 critical infrastructure sites across eight regions of Ukraine, Kyiv Independent reported.

"The main goal of these war criminals is to sow panic, to frighten, and to leave Ukrainians without light and heat," Shmyhal added.

Multiple explosions were reported in the Ukrainian cities of Odesa, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Dnipro, Lviv, Ternopil, and Kyiv, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukrainian intelligence of carrying out what he called a "terrorist attack" on the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to Crimea.

Russia has occupied Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula since 2014, and Putin opened with bridge in 2018 as a symbol of Russia's hold on the territory.

Due to Monday's strikes, the Philharmonic building, Hanenko and Shevchenko museums, as well as Shevchenko Park, were also damaged in Kyiv.

"Putin's only tactic is terror on peaceful Ukrainian cities, but he will not break Ukraine down," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

In another tweet regarding the phone conversation, Kuleba said Blinken and he "agreed that Russia must not get away with its inhumane missile attacks on Ukraine.

"I raised a number of important issues, including the strengthening of Ukraine’s defense capabilities, new sanctions on Russia, and holding Moscow accountable for its terrorism," the Ukrainian diplomat tweeted.