Millions of Ukrainians still without power after Russian strikes

Ukraine, including its capital kyiv, was largely deprived of electricity and water on Thursday, the day after new massive Russian strikes that specifically targeted energy infrastructure, a strategy described as “war crimes” by Western allies in when winter sets in.

According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, about fifteen regions were experiencing problems with the water and electricity supply. “The situation with electricity remains difficult in almost all regions. However, we are gradually moving away from blackouts and every hour we are reconnecting electricity for new consumers,” he said.

In kyiv, hit by freezing rain falling on snow and near freezing temperatures, around 70% of the population remained without electricity, while water supplies were restored, according to the town hall.
For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense asserted that the Russian bombardments had not targeted the capital, accusing the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense of having been responsible for the damage in kyiv.
The rest of Ukraine was also largely affected by the outages, but the reconnection of critical infrastructure to the network continued gradually.

In Kharkiv, the country’s second city, not far from the border with Russia, the supply has been restored after “very difficult” work, said its mayor Igor Terekhov.

Russian shelling also continued, leaving four dead and ten wounded in Kherson (south), from where Moscow troops withdrew two weeks ago, and six dead and 30 wounded in Vyshgorod, near kyiv.
“We have withstood nine months of total war, and Russia has not found a way to break us. And it will not. We must continue to hold our ground,” Zelensky said in his evening speech. .

“To cause pain”

“This systematic targeting of the population as winter approaches reflects a clear Russian desire to make the Ukrainian people suffer, to deprive them of water, heat and electricity to undermine their resilience,” he said. French diplomacy. “These acts clearly constitute war crimes.”

Speaking by videoconference before the UN Security Council, Mr. Zelensky denounced Wednesday a “crime against humanity”.

Three nuclear power plants under the control of kyiv were able to be reconnected and were to supply homes without electricity again in the evening.

According to the Ministry of Energy, these bombings left Wednesday without electricity “the vast majority of consumers” in Ukraine, which had around 40 million inhabitants before the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

Russia fired around 70 cruise missiles at the country on Wednesday, of which 51 were shot down, according to kyiv. These strikes targeted key energy infrastructure, already damaged by several waves of such bombings.

In total, “eight energy facilities” were affected, said Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriï Kostine, adding that ten people had been killed and 50 others injured.

On the front, power cuts were also felt, forcing hospitals to work with emergency generators, while fighting continues in the east.

“The way they fight and target civilian infrastructure can only cause fury,” Oleksiy Yakovlenko, the administrator of a hospital in the city of Kramatorsk, told AFP.

“If they expect us to fall to our knees and crawl towards them, it will not happen,” he nevertheless assured.

Warsaw offers its Patriot

In this context, the Polish Minister of Defense proposed that Germany transfer to Ukraine the Patriot air defense system that it offered to Poland.

Russia, for its part, urged Ukraine to give in to its demands.

“The leadership of Ukraine (…) has the opportunity to resolve the situation by satisfying all the demands of the Russian side and to put an end to the possible suffering of the civilian population,” the Kremlin spokesman repeated on Thursday. Dmitry Peskov.

Russia, which justified its war by the need to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine, which it accuses of repressing Russian-speaking populations, claimed at the end of September the annexation of four Ukrainian regions which are under partial Russian control.

Moscow announced on Thursday that it had distributed Russian passports to more than 80,000 inhabitants of these four Ukrainian territories, making them “citizens of the Russian Federation”.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said that since the November 11 recapture of the northern southern region of Kherson, “nine torture sites” had been “discovered” as well as “the bodies of 432 civilians killed”, without saying how they had died.

Exchanges of prisoners between the two camps also continued on Thursday with 50 captives freed on each side, after an exchange of 35 people from each camp the day before, according to the respective representatives.

Another direct consequence of the Russian bombing, Moldova, already plagued by major energy problems caused by the conflict in Ukraine, was also the victim of widespread power outages on Wednesday, but the situation was largely back to normal on Thursday.


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Three nuclear power plants reconnected to the electricity grid in Ukraine after Russian strikes

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