New Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure

New Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure

As winter approaches, the Russian army on Tuesday launched new large-scale attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, whose power plants have been destroyed by almost a third in a week.

“Russian forces continue to strike against Ukraine’s military command and power systems with long-range, high-precision air and sea weapons,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in its daily report, assuring that “all targets were hit. “

“Since October 10, 30% of Ukraine’s power plants have been destroyed, leading to massive power outages across the country,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted, reiterating his refusal to negotiate with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

“The situation is now critical across the country because our regions are interdependent,” said an adviser to the presidency, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, demanding “that the whole country prepare for the fact that there will be power, water and power outages can heating”.

At around 12:00 GMT, according to the authorities, these attacks had killed at least one person in Mykolayiv (south) and two, even three, in Kyiv, and they affected towns and villages across the country. Power outages were reported in the capital and other areas.

As early as Monday, Russian attacks, particularly with suicide drones, had killed at least nine people, including five in Kyiv, and caused power outages in three regions.

And a week earlier, on October 10, Russian bombing raids on an unprecedented scale in months, including on energy infrastructure, had left at least 19 dead and 105 wounded.

Kiev’s western allies then promised more air defense systems, some of which have already been delivered.

– Iranian drones –

Still in the energy sector, Ukrainian operator Energoatom on Tuesday accused the Russian army of “kidnapping” two executives from the Zaporijia (South) nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, which has been occupied by Moscow’s forces since March. The facility has been subject to regular bombing and power outages since the Russian invasion on February 24, raising fears of a nuclear catastrophe.

“In the last 24 hours, the enemy launched 10 rocket attacks, 58 airstrikes and carried out up to 60 multiple rocket launchers,” Ukraine’s general staff said on Tuesday morning.

The latter also reported on the Russian army’s dispatch of 43 Iranian-made “Shahed-136” drones, of which “38 were shot down by Ukrainian soldiers” and claimed that “22 airstrikes” were carried out by the Ukrainian Air Force on Monday . This shows once again that Russia has failed to establish dominance in the air.

“We have no such information,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked by a reporter about Moscow’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine. “Russian technology is used, with Russian names”.

Kyiv on Monday called on the EU to impose more sanctions on Iran, saying “Iran is responsible for killing Ukrainians”.

Tehran reiterated its denials: “Iran has not exported arms to any of the warring parties,” said Nasser Kanani, its diplomatic spokesman.

Washington threatened to sanction companies or states collaborating on Iran’s drone program in the wake of Monday’s attacks.

– “Terrorize and Kill” –

The Russians “continue to do what they do best – terrorize and kill civilians. In Mykolayiv, the enemy destroyed a residential building with S-300 missiles. One person was killed,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced.

According to local authorities, the victim was a 55-year-old man who was found in the rubble of the building after an overnight strike.

In Kyiv, the prosecutor’s office reported two dead and one injured after “a rocket attack on a power plant on the left bank of the capital”.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko mentioned three dead, employees of the affected site. The operator DTEK reported “interruptions” in the electricity and water supply for the residents of the left bank.

In Dnipro, “the Russians shelled an energy infrastructure (…) with two rockets. There is a fire and severe damage,” said the head of the regional military administration, Valentyn Reznichenko, citing power outages and water shortages across the region.

In Kharkiv, “the enemy fired eight rockets at the city from the Russian city of Belgorod,” according to Kharkiv region governor Oleg Synegoubov, who did not report any casualties.

The Russian army on Tuesday claimed to have captured a village, Gorobivka, in the Kharkiv region – a first since it was forced out of the area in September

Other bombings hit the town of Zhytomyr west of Kyiv, cutting off water and electricity.

On Monday, Russian bombardments had already hit Kyiv, the areas around Kharkiv, Sumy (northeast), Donetsk (east), Dnipropetrovsk (middle-east), Kherson (south) and Mykolaiv.

– “Sign of Despair” –

The Russians are “attacking essential infrastructure (…) things that people need in their daily lives and that are not military targets,” estimated US diplomatic chief Antony Blinken. “This is a sign of desperation on the part of Russia.”

The Russian army is on the defensive on most fronts in Ukraine and has been retreating both to the north and to the east and south since September. The only sector in which it is still advancing is the area of ​​the city of Bakhmout (east), which it has been trying to take from the Ukrainians since the summer.

The Kremlin announced that the partial mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Russian reservists decided by Vladimir Putin after his heavy losses in Ukraine has not been completed “for the time being”.

Despite this context, 108 women, mostly soldiers, have been released thanks to a new prisoner exchange with Russia, according to the Ukrainian Presidency.

In Russia itself, the Ukrainian army shelled two villages in the Kursk border region, Tiotkino and Popovo-Lejatchi, causing power outages, Russian authorities said on Tuesday. In the Belgorod region, which also borders Ukraine, Ukrainian shots hit a train station, causing damage and injuring one, according to Governor Viatcheslav Beglov.

The day before, not far from there, 13 people were killed and 19 injured after a Russian military plane caused a huge fire in Yeisk (south-west).

The plane crashed into an apartment building housing 600 people in this town of 90,000, which is across the street from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which was destroyed by a siege by Russian forces early in the conflict.

Russian investigators spoke out on Tuesday for the trail of a “technical defect” on the plane.


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