Vladimir Putin’s blitz plunges Ukraine into darkness: Rocket attacks knock out one in three power plants as war-torn country heads into winter
- A missile and drone blitz has shut down a third of the country’s power plants
- 1,162 towns or villages in 16 Ukrainian regions were now without power
- Zelensky said targeting power supplies ’caused massive power outages’
Ukraine’s energy supply is at critical lows after Russian attacks, Kiev warned last night.
A rocket and drone blitz has shut down a third of the country’s power plants in just eight days as winter approaches, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
Further drone strikes on energy supplies left parts of the capital without electricity for hours yesterday. At least three residents were killed.
Officials said 1,162 towns or villages in 16 Ukrainian regions are now without power.
Zelensky said Vladimir Putin’s attack on power supplies, a crime under the laws of armed conflict, “caused massive power cuts,” forcing hospitals to support generators.
Further drone strikes on energy supplies left parts of the capital without electricity for hours yesterday. At least three residents were killed. A storage facility is seen after it was hit by a Russian drone near Mykolaiv
“There is no more room for negotiations with Putin’s regime,” Zelensky said, once again ruling out the prospect of peace talks with the Kremlin despot. “The terrorist state will not change anything for itself with such actions,” he added.
“It will only confirm its destructive and murderous essence, for which it will certainly be held accountable.”
The main power plant in the central city of Dnipro, the gateway to Ukraine’s partially occupied industrial heartland, the Donbas, was also affected. And Zhytomyr, home to military bases and important industries west of Kiev, was out of power.
Mayor Serhiy Sukhomlyn said 150,000 of the 250,000 residents were still without electricity last night.
Officials said 1,162 towns or villages in 16 Ukrainian regions are now without power. Zelensky said Vladimir Putin’s attack on power, a crime under the laws of armed conflict, “caused massive power cuts,” forcing hospitals to support generators
Pavlo Raboschuk, a 33-year-old computer repairman in Zhytomyr, said he was ready “for a hard and dark winter” with dehydrated food, warm clothes and batteries he had stored at home. “Only swear words come to my mind,” he added.
Iryna Kolodzynska, a school principal, managed to get the students back to their desks within 30 minutes of the airstrike. “We mustn’t break down,” she said. “There are regions that have suffered much more from the war than we have.”
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said: “The situation is now critical across the country as our regions depend on each other. The whole country has to prepare for power, water and heating failures.’
Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, a spokesman for the Ukrainian emergency services, said more than 70 people have been killed and 240 injured since the Russian attack began on Monday.
In the northeast, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkov, about 40 miles from the border with Russia, was hit by eight missiles. The British Ministry of Defense wrote in its daily intelligence briefing that “a primary objective of this strike campaign is to cause widespread damage to Ukraine’s energy distribution network.”
“As Russia has been dealing with setbacks on the battlefield since August, it has most likely become more willing to attack civilian infrastructure,” the Defense Ministry said.
A senior Western official said on condition of anonymity that kamikaze drones supplied by Iran to Moscow were being used because Russian missiles were running out.
“Our estimate is that the Russians’ ability to continue with this satiating barrage of precision weapons is now at the point where it will be unsustainable,” the source said.
But pro-Kremlin Telegram broadcasters praised Putin for attacking energy infrastructure in civilian areas. Moscow denied using Iranian drones. “Russian technology is being used,” said Putin’s chief propagandist Dmitry Peskov.