Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “energy terrorism” after Moscow carried out repeated attacks on key infrastructure and deprived hundreds of thousands of people of power.
According to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, about 450,000 households across Kyiv were without power on Friday as power outages continued across the country. “It’s 1.5 times what it was recently,” Klitschko said on Telegram.
Weeks of Russian air and rocket attacks on Ukraine’s power grid have followed dire warnings of a cold and difficult winter coming for those staying in the country.
This week alone, attacks on critical infrastructure in the Kyiv, Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, Kharkov and Zaporizhia regions left millions of people intermittently without electricity and water. As of Thursday night, about 4.5 million consumers had been temporarily cut off from electricity under the emergency and stabilization schedule, Zelensky said.
“The very fact that Russia resorted to terrorism against the energy sector shows the weakness of the enemy. They cannot defeat Ukraine on the battlefield, so let’s break our people in this way. ,” Zelensky said in his nightly speech.
A series of Russian airstrikes has dragged cities in central and western Ukraine to the front lines of the war, with residents of the capital struggling to keep their businesses running, along with water and other resources.
Ukrainergo, Ukraine’s state-owned electricity company, said earlier this week that power outages would last longer in some areas as it tries to repair damage from recent strikes.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock said on Thursday ahead of the group’s foreign ministers’ meeting in the western German city of Münster that the G7 group of wealthy nations is offering aid to Ukraine as winter approaches the conflict-torn country. said to adjust.
“Because of the brutal tactics of the Russian president, we will not allow the atrocities of war to cause many elderly people, children, teenagers and families to die of hunger and cold during the coming winter,” said Bearbock. said. Reporter.
The Ukrainian military says Russian forces are stepping up airstrikes near the Eastern Front using Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), especially in the Donetsk area.
The army’s chief of staff said 80 such attacks were recorded on Wednesday, and on Thursday “the enemy carried out four missiles and 28 airstrikes, firing more than 45 times from the MLRS.”
Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery Zardzhny said Thursday in a conversation with NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Gen. Triples strength – up to 80 attacks daily.
According to Ukrainian officials, the Russian military and “collaborators” have also launched a census in the city of Enerkhodar, which borders the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
“They are doing it by force because they cannot refuse to participate in the census,” said Dmitro Orlov, mayor of Enerjodar.
“On the second day, the Russians, along with their so-called collaborators with the police, are going door-to-door and intercepting people in courtyards. ‘, Orlov claimed.
“A lot of the time, the census ends with looking up and browsing apps on your phone. Be careful!” he said. The pre-war population of the city was about 50,000. It has been under Russian occupation since early March.
State-owned Energoatom, which operates the nuclear power plant, said on Thursday that more Russian shelling about 50 kilometers from the plant disabled two high-voltage power lines and put the plant into “complete blackout mode.” reported. All 20 diesel generators were put into operation. ” Although the plant is operated by Ukrainian engineers, it is under the control of Russian state operator Rusatom.
Further south, social media videos and local Telegram channels showed an explosion near an airfield just north of the Russian-occupied city of Kherson.
The video showed a large plume of black smoke rising from the area of Chernovaivka.
Ukrainian military and Russian-appointed officials in the region have not officially commented on the footage.
Further north, on the east bank of the Dnipro River, unofficial Telegram channels say Russian troops are forcing locals to evacuate the village of Velika Repetiha. Russian-backed authorities have already announced the evacuation of civilians from a 15-kilometer zone along the river, creating new defenses in the area.
These same channels also state that forced evacuations are also underway in the village of Hornostayivka further downstream, while new evacuations are taking place in the town of Nova Kakhovka, also on the east bank, near the river’s dam and hydroelectric power station. I heard an explosion.
Humanitarian groups say such strategies may constitute human rights violations.