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Ukraine says 30% of its power plants destroyed in last eight days

by Mahmmod Shar

Attacks on civilian infrastructure leave no space for negotiations with Putin regime, says Zelenskiy

Nearly a third of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed by Russian drone and missile attacks in the past eight days, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said, as his office warned of a “critical” power situation nationwide.

Zelenskiy accused Russia of engaging in “terrorist attacks” affecting a significant proportion of the country’s critical infrastructure and wreaking havoc on electricity and other utility supplies.

“Since Oct 10, 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country.” he tweeted. “Attacks on civilian infrastructure left “no space for negotiations with Putin’s regime.”

The bombing is often inaccurate and civilians have been killed in residential buildings in Kyiv and other big cities.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the presidential office, said energy infrastructure and power supply were targeted overnight in an eastern district of Kyiv, where two people were killed, and in the cities of Dnipro and Zhytomyr.

“The situation is critical now across the country because our regions are dependent on one another … it’s necessary for the whole country to prepare for electricity, water and heating outages,” Tymoshenko told Ukrainian television.

Two “objects of critical infrastructure” were damaged in Kyiv, said the city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, and electricity and water supply in “many houses” in east Kyiv was “partially limited”.

The mayor appealed to residents to conserve electricity by turning off air conditioners, electric kettles and microwaves, and said houses experiencing reduced water pressure should use water as “economically as possible”.

All of Zhytomyr was without electricity and water after a double missile strike on an energy facility, said the mayor, Serhiy Sukhomlyn. Hospitals were running on backup power, he said.

Ukraine had long feared that Russia would target its utility networks. The latest waves of strikes demonstrate that key infrastructure remains vulnerable to Russian attack from the air.

Russia said on Tuesday that its forces were maintaining strikes against military and energy infrastructure targets, and that it had used what it described as high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons.

The targets were “military command and energy infrastructure of Ukraine, as well as arsenals with ammunition and foreign-made weapons”, it said. “All assigned objects were hit,” it added.

Klitschko said a fifth person, an elderly woman, had been found dead after a wave of drone attacks in the centre of Kyiv on Monday morning. She died after a residential building was hit.

A combination of missiles and, more recently, drones made in Iran and rebranded as Geran-2 by the assailants have been used by Russia to target Ukraine. Despite indications that Moscow may be running low on guided missiles, the Ukraine claims that Moscow has acquired 2,400 drones and is using them as less expensive alternatives to hit energy targets and terrorize civilians.

Iran denies giving the drones to Russia, and Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, claims to know nothing about the drones’ origin. According to Peskov, “Russian equipment with Russian names is being used.”

The Gerans, according to Ukraine, experts, and western governments, are Shahed drones that have been given a new name. These drones can be recognized by their distinctive delta wing shape and by looking at the pieces that have been found on the ground.

Under the condition of anonymity, a western official stated during a briefing on Tuesday that they thought Russia was “pursu[ing] a deliberate strategy of trying to destroy Ukraine’s electricity network.”

Officials from the West expressed concern that Iran might provide Russia with assistance that goes beyond the provision of drones, such as more advanced surface-to-surface missiles.

Ben Wallace, the UK’s defense secretary, and James Cleverly, its foreign secretary, took a plane to Washington on Tuesday to talk about how to react to Iran’s intervention, as officials had just informed the public that a new air defense program for Ukraine was being developed.

Many colleagues in the western alliance, according to a western official, are “looking at what the right package might be to support the Ukrainians.”

The US has been reluctant to bolster Ukraine’s air force and defenses out of concern that it would be perceived as an escalation. However, Germany last week delivered the first of four IRIS-T air defense systems it had promised to supply Ukraine.


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