Power outages reported across Ukraine after new wave of strikes: live updates

Recognition…Andrew Kravchenko/Associated Press

Kyiv, Ukraine — A barrage of Russian missile attacks hit areas in Ukraine on Wednesday afternoon and evening, killing at least six people and cutting power to the capital Kyiv and other regions and parts of neighboring Moldova in what appeared to be one of the most destructive waves of attacks in weeks.

The airstrikes sent plumes of smoke into the skies of Kyiv as Ukrainian air defense systems worked to shoot down incoming missiles.

“We have confirmation of attacks on critical infrastructure facilities in several regions,” Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko said in a statement.

The Ukrainian Air Force said the attacks were carried out by missile-carrying aircraft from the Volgodonsk region of the Rostov region and from the Caspian Sea, and two small missile boats from the Black Sea. In total, Russia fired around 70 cruise missiles, of which the Ukrainian air defense shot down 51, the Air Force said.

In addition, five unmanned attack drones were shot down in southern Ukraine, the Air Force said.

From Lviv in the west to Kharkiv in the northeast, officials reported disruptions to electricity, water and other essential services. Moldova also experienced “massive power outages across the country,” its infrastructure minister, Andrei Spinu, wrote on Facebook. Moldova’s Soviet-era electricity systems remain connected to those in Ukraine, its western neighbor.

Russia escalated its airstrikes on Ukraine’s power system in October after two strings of battlefield losses, trying to plunge the country into darkness and cold just as winter is approaching. The strikes, though crippling, have not halted Ukraine’s military advance that forced Moscow to withdraw from the southern Ukraine city of Kherson two weeks ago.

Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said that as a result of Wednesday’s attacks, “the vast majority of electricity consumers across the country have been disconnected from the grid.”

At least one Russian missile struck what Kyiv regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba called a critical infrastructure facility there without elaborating. A two-story apartment building was also hit, and at least one person died, he said. A total of 20 people were injured in the strikes, Mr Kuleba said.

Some districts were without electricity, and “the water supply was cut off throughout Kyiv,” the capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram. He said three people had been killed, including a 17-year-old girl, and advised people to stay in shelters.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, said a total of six people died and 36 others were injured. It was not clear whether the number referred to the Kyiv region or the country as a whole.

The Ukrainian authorities have shut down three nuclear power plants due to disruptions in the power supply, the state-owned nuclear energy company Energoatom announced on Telegram on Wednesday. The company said radiation levels at the plants – in Rivne, Khmelnytsk and southern Ukraine – remained normal and the plants could use internal power supplies.

For many Ukrainians, the latest wave of attacks has disrupted daily life, which had already taken on a new rhythm since the start of the massive invasion of Russia.

In Kyiv, in a hilltop cemetery, the funeral of Serhiy Myronov, a Ukrainian soldier recently killed in combat, was underway when the first explosions sounded. A crowd of more than 100 people waiting to throw earth into the grave looked up at the sky. “Air defense,” said a woman.

In the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, subway services were suspended and people were evacuated from subways after the power went out, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said.

Recognition…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Traffic lights went out and buses stopped in downtown Dnipro after explosions were heard near the city around 2:30 p.m. local time. At least one cruise missile had been sighted north of the city an hour earlier.

The barrage sent crowds into a neighborhood supermarket, whose generator made it a rare point of light in a city plunged in darkness. Oleg, a construction worker who declined to give his last name for safety reasons, said he expected power to be restored soon.

But the crowds at the store, many buying water and bread, seemed to indicate that some Dnipro citizens were preparing for a long period without electricity. “Usually power outages here last two or three hours,” said Oleg. “I think the electricity will be restored by morning, people have to cook.”

Markus Santora reported from Kyiv, Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Dnipro, Ukraine, and Matthew Mpoke Bigg from London.

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