Russian strikes leave 10 million Ukrainians without power as temperatures plummet


Kyiv, Ukraine
CNN

More than 10 million Ukrainians were left without power after another wave of Russian strikes on critical infrastructure, as concerns over Ukraine’s electricity supply mounted as winter set in across the country.

Temperatures in Ukraine have plummeted this week, according to state-owned energy company Ukrenergo, putting additional strain on the country’s power grid as engineers try to repair damage caused by fresh Russian missile attacks.

“Due to a dramatic drop in temperature, electricity consumption is increasing daily in those regions of Ukraine where power supply has already been restored after massive rocket attacks on energy infrastructure on November 15,” Ukrenergo said in a statement released on Friday. “This complicates the already difficult situation in the energy system.”

Ukrenergo said it is restricting the use of electricity in some areas as a “necessary measure to maintain the stability of the energy system” and had teams “working around the clock to restore damaged infrastructure to bring light back to Ukrainians.”

Russian missile strikes hit critical infrastructure in cities across Ukraine this week as many parts of Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, experienced their first snowfall of the season on Thursday.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address on Thursday that more than 10 million Ukrainians are without electricity and that most live in the Kyiv, Odessa, Vinnytsia and Sumy regions.

The first snowfall of the season in Lviv in western Ukraine on November 17th.

Zelenskyy said crews were doing everything they could to normalize supplies, but “emergency power outages were occurring again in addition to the planned stabilization outages.”

Yasno, an electric utility in Kyiv, said the city experienced emergency power outages all day Thursday, with the grid having less than half of its normal supply.

Russian shelling and rocket attacks hit civilian infrastructure in various parts of Ukraine on Thursday night.

Zelenskyi said dozens of people were injured as a result of a rocket attack in Dnipro, while in Zaporizhia seven bodies were recovered from the rubble of a residential building destroyed by Russian shelling. Two more bodies were later found at the Zaporizhzhia site, bringing the death toll to nine, his office said on Friday morning.

Three other men were hospitalized after being wounded in rocket attacks in Izium, Kharkiv region. Several gas production facilities in eastern Ukraine were destroyed and others damaged by shelling, and the southern Odessa region was also hit by Russian attacks on Thursday.

Zelenskyy has accused Russia of “energy terrorism” over its repeated attacks on vital infrastructure.

“The mere fact that Russia resorted to terror against the energy sector shows the weakness of the enemy,” said Zelenskyy during his nightly speech on November 3.

“They cannot defeat Ukraine on the battlefield, so they are trying to break our people in this way.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday’s attacks targeted missile manufacturing facilities and “fuel and power infrastructure” linked to the military.

“An arsenal of artillery pieces supplied by Western countries and prepared for shipment to troops was destroyed,” the ministry said on Friday. “The movement of reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the supply of foreign arms to the combat zones have been suspended.”

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