Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Tuesday that up to one-third of all power stations have been attacked by Russian missile and drone strikes over the past week, causing “massive blackouts across the country.”
He called these ongoing strikes against energy infrastructure “terrorist attacks” and said this means there’s “No space left for negotiations with Putin’s regime,” according a tweet.
For more than a week Russia has stepped up an aerial bombardment campaign against dozens of cities and towns which has included widespread use of suicide drones.
Ukraine and its Western backers suspect these are Iranian-made drones, causing the EU to threaten new sanctions against Tehran on Tuesday.
The Hill on Tuesday wrote of some the latest strikes, “The city of Zhytomyr, which is west of the capital Kyiv, lost power after a double missile strike targeted an energy facility on Tuesday.”
The report observed further that “In Kyiv, missile strikes damaged two power facilities and on Monday the city was bombarded by waves of exploding suicide drones.”
Ukraine’s second largest city of Kharkiv, which sits near the Russian border, was also hit in a major attack on its energy infrastructure.
This has threatened the power grid in a city with a pre-war population of nearly 1.5 million. Reuters has called it a “deliberate campaign to destroy electricity and water facilities before winter.”
The two Russian regions of Belgorod and Kursk have meanwhile said their populations have been terrorized by shelling attacks from the Ukrainian side of the border.
“Train traffic in the Belgorod region was temporarily brought to a halt after shelling struck a railway station and damaged the railroad tracks, the region’s Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on his official Telegram channel,” The Moscow Times reports.
These new waves of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy come amid a World Health Organization (WHO) warning for Ukraine and perhaps even all of Europe:
“WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri P. Kluge said at the media briefing that the organization is working to anticipate and prepare for the challenges of the approaching “brutal” winter in its humanitarian response to Russia’s war on the country.
Kluge remarked that risk of COVID-19, frostbite, hypothermia, pneumonia, stroke and heart attack will likely increase among Ukrainians who are living “precariously,” whether in substandard shelters, without access to heating or by regularly moving to different locations.”
Another day in Ukraine and another barrage of Russian missiles targeting energy infrastructure across the country, with Zhytomyr out of water and electricity and Dnipro power station reportedly hit. Air-defences have shot at least one of the missiles down. pic.twitter.com/MA1BOTiENw
— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) October 18, 2022