Kyiv, UKRAINE (AP) — A Russian missile barrage against Ukraine’s power grid spread war to neighboring countries on Tuesday, hitting NATO member Poland and cutting off power in much of Moldova.
The strike plunged much of Ukraine into darkness and prompted President Zelensky to rebel. President Zelensky shook his fist and proclaimed, “We will get through it all.”
It was the largest barrage in Russian history, with some missiles reaching Poland, where two people were killed, according to US officials. It was the first time in the war that Russian weapons were unloaded on a NATO member state.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller did not immediately confirm information from a senior US intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the situation.
A second person confirmed that an apparently Russian missile hit a Polish site about 15 miles from the Ukrainian border.
But Mueller said top leaders were holding emergency meetings because of the “critical situation.”
Polish media reported that two people were killed after a projectile hit an area of drying grain in the Polish village of Przewodów, near the border with Ukraine, on Tuesday afternoon.
Neighboring Moldova was also affectedOfficials said they reported massive power outages after the strike destroyed a vital power line that supplies power to the small country.
Zelensky said Russia had launched at least 85 missiles, most of them aimed at the country’s power facilities, causing power outages in many cities.
“We are working and we will restore everything. We will get through it all,” the president vowed. His energy minister said the attack was the “most extensive” bombardment of power installations in the Russian invasion nearly nine months ago, hitting both power generation and transmission systems.
Minister Hermann Kharshenko described the missile strike as “another attempt at terrorist revenge” after the Kremlin’s military and diplomatic setbacks. He accused Russia of “trying to do the most damage to its energy system on the eve of winter.”
The air raid, which has left at least one dead in a home in the capital Kyiv, follows days of euphoria sparked by last week’s recapture of southern Kherson, one of Ukraine’s greatest military successes.
The power grid had already been hit by previous attacks that destroyed an estimated 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not commented on the withdrawal from Kherson since his troops withdrew in the face of attacks from Ukrainian forces. Narrative, alluding to the Kremlin’s wrath.
By attacking the target in the late afternoon, shortly before dusk began, Russian forces forced rescuers to work in the dark and gave repairmen little time to assess damage in daylight.
Dozens of regions, including Lviv in the west, Kharkiv in the northeast, and others in between, reported air defense attacks or efforts to shoot down the missiles. Cities of 10,000 people are being affected. Almost half of the Kyiv region has lost power, officials said. Ukrainian Railways has announced a nationwide train delay.
Zelensky warned of the possibility of further attacks and urged people to stay safe and seek shelter.
“Most of the hits were recorded in the center and north of the country. In the capital, the situation is very difficult,” said senior official Kirilo Tymoshenko.
He said a total of 15 energy targets had been damaged and claimed 70 missiles had been shot down. A Ukrainian Air Force spokesman said Russia used his X-101 and his X-555 cruise missiles.
As city after city reported attacks, Tymoshenko urged Ukrainians to “stay there.”
As battlefield losses mount, Russia increasingly resorts to means of targeting the Ukrainian power grid, hoping to turn the approach of winter into a weapon by leaving people in the cold and darkness. seems to want
In Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said authorities had found a body in one of three residential buildings attacked in the capital. In addition, an emergency blackout was announced by the power company DTEK.
A video released by the presidential aide showed a five-story building, believed to be a residence, on fire in Kyiv, with flames licking an apartment building. Klitschko said air defenses also shot down several missiles.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hekstra, after meeting with his Ukrainian counterparts, went to Kyiv’s air raid shelter and, from a safe place, said the bombing was “a great motivation to keep standing shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine.
“There is only one answer and that is to keep going. We will continue to support Ukraine, we will continue to provide arms, we will continue to be accountable, we will continue to work on humanitarian aid,” he said.
Ukraine has been through a period of relative calm since a wave of drone and missile attacks a few weeks ago.
The strike came at a time when authorities were already working furiously to get Kherson back on its feet and had begun investigating alleged Russian abuses there and in the surrounding area.
The southern city lacks electricity and water, and Matilda Bogner, head of the U.N. Human Rights Office Observatory in Ukraine, condemned the “dire humanitarian situation” there on Tuesday.
Speaking from Kyiv, Bogner said her team was going to Kherson to try to verify about 80 allegations of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention.
The head of the Ukrainian National Police, Igor Klimenko, said authorities will begin investigating reports from Kherson residents. Russian forces have set up at least three alleged torture sites in the now-liberated areas of the Kherson region, he said. There he was detained and tortured. “
The recapture of Kherson dealt another severe blow to the Kremlin. Zelensky likened the recapture to the Allied landings in France on his D-Day in World War II, both of which he said were forks in the road to eventual victory.
However, much of eastern and southern Ukraine is still under Russian control and fighting continues.
Zelensky warned of more grim news ahead.
“When we liberate our lands, we see one thing everywhere — Russia is leaving torture chambers and mass burials behind. How many mass graves are there?” Zelensky asked.
Associated Press writers Joanna Kozlowska of London, Jamie Keaten of Geneva, Mike Corder of The Hague, Hannah Alilova of Kherson, and Juras Karmanau of Tallinn, Estonia contributed to this article.
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