UKRAINE: Russia fired over 70 missiles at Ukraine’s several regions during the Friday morning rush hour, resulting in the loss of electricity in the nation’s second-largest city and forcing Kyiv to impose nationwide emergency blackouts.
The city had endured “one of the biggest missile attacks” since the war’s start, Kiev officials said.
So far, authorities have reported three fatalities and numerous injuries, including three children, when one of the missiles struck a residential building in the southern city of Kryvyi Rih in the Dnipro region.
The mayor of Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine, reported “colossal” damage that might leave many people without heat throughout the bitterly cold winter. “Serious damage” has been reported by the governor of Dnipropetrovsk’s central region.
In an evening video message, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, urged western allies to keep giving Kiev more advanced air defence systems while asserting that Moscow still had enough missiles on hand to launch several more large attacks.
Zelenskiy stated that Ukraine is resilient enough to recover. “Whatever the Moscow rocket enthusiasts hope for, it still won’t change the balance of power in this conflict,” he said.
About a year after its invasion on February 24—during which significant portions of Ukraine were destroyed by artillery and missiles but just a small portion was taken by Russian troops—Kyiv on Thursday issued a warning that Moscow wanted to launch a fresh full-scale offensive early the following year.
Russia has been firing missiles at Ukraine’s energy infrastructure nearly every week since the beginning of October after suffering numerous battlefield setbacks. However on Friday, Russia’s attack appeared to cause more damage than most others given the current spread of snow and ice.
Moscow intentionally flew warplanes near Ukraine in an effort to distract its air defenses, the Ukrainian air force said. The army chief claimed that 60 of the 76 Russian missiles had been thwarted.
Moscow claims that the attacks are intended to weaken the Ukrainian military. They are referred to as “war crimes” by the Ukrainians.
“They intend to kill us and turn us into slaves. But we won’t give up. We’ll keep going,” Lidiya Vasilieva, 53, said as she made her way to a shelter at a train station in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
The second-largest city in Ukraine and one of the worst-hit, Kharkiv, is now without running water, heating, or electricity. Oleh Synehubov, the regional governor, was quoted by Interfax Ukraine as saying later on Friday that 55% of the city’s electricity was back up and 85% in the surrounding area.
After earlier attacks, the country was able to repair a large portion of its water and electricity supplies, but the process has grown more challenging with each strike.
Grid operator Ukrenergo issued a warning that power restoration would take longer and that repair durations would be longer than in the past.
“We have already noticed damage to nine power generating plants,” German Galushchenko, the energy minister, said on national television, He also added that “we are still verifying the damage.”
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Ukraine’s small and medium-sized firms have imported about 500,000 power generators, but the nation still requires thousands more that are larger and stronger to get through the winter.
Zelenskiy advised Ukrainians to have patience and asked the local authorities to come up with more creative ways to plan for electricity emergencies.
Power was knocked out in several places, including Poltava, a city in the centre of Ukraine, and portions of Kyiv. In the northeastern region of Kharkiv, the Black Sea region of Odesa, and the west central region of Vinnytsia, critical infrastructure was damaged.
Yulia Svyrydenko, the economy minister, stated on Facebook that the Russian Federation wanted Ukrainians to constantly feel under pressure, go into bomb shelters nearly every day, and experience pain because of water or power outages.
“However, Ukraine’s stance remains the same: let there be no light, but #withoutyou. We’ll endure. We’ll win. We’ll rebuild,” she continued.