Ukraine’s prime minister warns that Kyiv could face a “total shutdown” of the power grid due to Russian strikes.
Ukraine’s government said Friday that Russian missile strikes had crippled nearly half of Ukraine’s energy system, and authorities in the capital Kyiv warned the city could face a “total shutdown” of the power grid come winter.
Unfortunately, Russia continues to launch missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure. “Nearly half of our energy system is broken,” Prime Minister Denis Schmyhal said during a joint press conference with Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that about 10 million people were cut off from electricity in a country whose pre-war population was about 44 million. He said authorities in some areas have ordered emergency power cuts.
Ukraine’s national grid operator Ukrenergo said Russia launched six large-scale missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure between October 10 and November 15.
Russia has carried out major strikes across Ukraine after a major bridge connecting Crimea was partially damaged in an explosion in October. Moscow blamed Kyiv for the attack, which Ukraine denies.
With temperatures dropping to zero degrees and Kyiv seeing its first snow, officials have been working to restore power across the country after some of the heaviest bombing of Ukrainian infrastructure in nine months of war.
The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in the country this winter due to the lack of electricity and water.
“We are preparing for various scenarios, including a complete lockdown,” Mykola Povoroznik, deputy head of the Kyiv city administration, said in televised remarks.
The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces used long-range weapons on Thursday to hit defense and industrial facilities, including “missile manufacturing facilities”.
A Ukrainian military spokesman said in an evening report that Russian forces, now redeployed on the eastern bank of the Dnieper in the Kherson region, had shelled towns including Antonivka and Belozerka on the west bank in addition to Chornobaevka, which they used. As a warehouse for equipment.
Moscow was forced to withdraw from the capital of the region, also called Kherson, on 9 November.
The Ukrainian Interior Minister was quoted as saying that investigators in the liberated areas of the Kherson region discovered 63 bodies with signs of torture after the Russian forces left.
The Commissioner for Human Rights in the Verkhovna Rada, Dmytro Lubinets, released a video of what he said was a torture chamber used by Russian forces in the Kherson region.
Reuters was unable to verify the assertions made by Lubinets and others in the video. Russia denies its forces deliberately attack civilians or commit atrocities.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what Moscow described as a special military operation to root out dangerous nationalists. Kyiv describes Russia’s action as an unjustified imperial land grab.
Thousands of Russian men have fled abroad to escape conscription in a conflict that has killed thousands, displaced millions, reduced cities to rubble and reopened divisions dating back to the Cold War era.
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