KYIV, Ukraine – Moscow on Sunday blamed Ukraine for the deadly blast on the bridge linking Crimea to Russia, as Ukraine denounced the latest lethal missile attack in its territory that killed at least 13 people.

“The authors, perpetrators and sponsors are the Ukrainian secret services,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said of Saturday’s Crimea bridge bombing, which he described as a “terrorist act”.

Putin was speaking during a meeting with the head of the investigation committee he has set up to look into the bombing, Russian news agencies reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meanwhile denounced a Russian missile strike on Sunday that killed at least 13 people — one of them a child — in Zaporizhzhia — the latest deadly bombardment of the southern Ukrainian city.

The attack also wounded 89 people, including 11 children, according to a statement from the president’s office.

Zelensky described the “merciless strikes on peaceful people” and residential buildings as “absolute evil” perpetrated by “savages and terrorists”.

Regional official Oleksandr Starukh posted pictures of heavily damaged apartment blocks on Telegram and said a rescue operation had been launched to find victims under the rubble.

Russia officials also denounced on Sunday what they said was a surge in Ukrainian fire into its territory that had hit homes, administrative buildings and a monastery.

– Divers inspect damage –

Russia’s FBS, which is responsible for border security, reported on Sunday: “Since the start of October, the number of attacks from Ukrainian armed formations on Russia’s border territory has considerably increased.” More than a hundred artillery attacks, concentrated on the western border regions of Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk, had hit housing and administrative buildings, said the statement.

The attacks had killed one person and wounded five others, including a child.

The governor of Kursk region, Roman Starovoyt, said Ukrainian fire had hit the Garnalski Saint Nicolas monastery, on the border.

Although the building had been hit, starting a fire that was quickly put out, nobody was hurt, he said, posting photos of the damage on Telegram.

Moscow meanwhile said divers were to inspect the waters beneath the giant Crimea bridge on Sunday, a day after a truck bomb ignited a massive fire on the road and rail link, killing three people.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said the divers would make their initial report later on Sunday.

Already on Saturday, Russia said some road and rail traffic had resumed over the strategic link, a symbol of the Kremlin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

The 19-kilometre (12-mile) bridge is a vital supply link between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula.

Following the attack at dawn on Saturday, the bodies of an unidentified man and a woman were pulled out of the water, probably passengers in a car driving near the exploded truck, Moscow said.

Russian officials said they had identified the owner of the truck as a resident of Russia’s southern Krasnodar region.

The blast sparked celebrations from Ukrainians and others on social media, but Zelensky, in his nightly address on Saturday, did not directly mention the incident, and officials in Kyiv have made no direct claim of responsibility.

Until Putin’s statement on Sunday, most Russian officials had stopped short of blaming Kyiv.

– Power restored at power plant –

Putin has ordered the creation of a commission to look into the Crimea bridge blast, and the Russian leader will chair a scheduled meeting of his Security Council on Monday.

Some military analysts argue that the blast could have a major impact if Moscow sees the need to shift already hard-pressed troops to Crimea from other regions — or if it prompts a rush by residents to leave.

Mick Ryan, a retired Australian senior officer now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that even if Ukrainians were not behind the blast, it constituted “a massive influence operation win for Ukraine.

“It is a demonstration to Russians, and the rest of the world, that Russia’s military cannot protect any of the provinces it recently annexed,” he said on Twitter.

Authorities in Crimea tried to allay fears of food and fuel shortages in the territory, which has been dependent on the Russian mainland since its annexation from Ukraine.

It is just the latest in a series of setbacks for Russia.

Recent lightning territorial gains by Ukraine in the east and south have undermined the Kremlin’s official annexation of Donetsk, neighbouring Lugansk and the southern regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

After growing domestic criticism of Russia’s army, Moscow on Saturday announced that a new general — Sergei Surovikin — would take over its forces in Ukraine.

Surovikin previously led Russia’s military in southern Ukraine. He has combat experience from the 1990s conflicts in Tajikistan and Chechnya, as well as, more recently, in Syria.

Ukraine’s power operator Energoatom announced on Sunday that engineers had managed to restore power to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, a day after they said shelling had cut the last source of external power there.