Power outages in Ukrainian cities and Moldova after new strikes

ukraine
Power Outages In Ukrainian Cities And Moldova After New Strikes Power Outages In Ukrainian Cities And Moldova After New Strikes
It is feared that Russian forces are seeking to turn the cold and dark of the Ukrainian winter into a weapon by destroying key infrastructure. Photo: PA Images
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John Leicester and Sam Mednick. AP

Authorities have reported power outages in several Ukrainian cities, including parts of Kyiv, as well as in neighbouring Moldova after renewed strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure facilities.

Several regions reported attacks in quick succession, suggesting a barrage of strikes, with critical infrastructure being targeted.

The Kyiv city administration said that three people were dead and three others had been wounded in the capital after a Russian strike hit a two-storey building.

The child’s mother and a doctor were reportedly rescued from the rubble (Zaporizhzhia region military administration via AP)

Russia has been pounding the power grid and other facilities with missiles and exploding drones for weeks, in an apparent bid to turn the cold and dark of winter into a weapon.

Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said that “one of the capital’s infrastructure facilities has been hit” and that there were “several more explosions in different districts” of the city.

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It was not immediately clear whether the explosions were caused by air defence systems at work or Russian projectiles hitting targets. He said water supplies had been knocked out in all of Kyiv.

There were power outages in parts of Kyiv, in the northern city of Kharkiv, the western city of Lviv and in the southern Odesa region.

In Moldova, infrastructure minister Andrei Spinu said that “we have massive power outages across the country” following a similar outage on November 15.

Kharkiv’s mayor said that power was out in the city, Ukraine’s second largest, and all public transport had stopped running.

Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy reported “two missile strikes on a power substation” in the region, and several districts of the region have been left without power. The entire Kyiv region is now without electricity, according to governor Oleksiy Kuleba.

State-owned grid operator Ukrenergo said Russia’s missile attack was continuing, but there were already emergency shutdowns in all regions.

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“This is a necessary step to protect power grids from additional technological accidents and support the operation of the power system,” Ukrenergo said, with repair work scheduled to begin when air raid sirens cease.

Traces of blood on sandals after a Russian strike in Kherson, southern Ukraine (AP)

The latest onslaught came hours after Ukrainian authorities said an overnight rocket attack destroyed a hospital maternity ward in southern Ukraine, killing a two-day-old baby.

Following the overnight strike in Vilniansk, close to the city of Zaporizhzhia, the baby’s mother and a doctor were pulled alive from the rubble.

The region’s governor said the rockets were Russian.

The strike adds to the gruesome toll suffered by hospitals and other medical facilities in the Russian invasion that will enter its tenth month this week.

Patients and staff have been in the firing line from the outset, including a March 9 air strike that destroyed a maternity hospital in the now-occupied port city of Mariupol.

Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska wrote on Twitter that a two-day-old boy died in the strike and expressed her condolences.

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“Horrible pain. We will never forget and never forgive,” she said.

Photos posted by the governor showed thick smoke rising above mounds of rubble, being combed by emergency workers against the backdrop of a dark night sky. The State Emergency Service said the two-storey building had been completely destroyed.

Medical workers’ efforts have been complicated by the succession of Russian attacks in recent weeks on Ukraine’s infrastructure.

A Russian air force pilot in the cockpit of his Su-35 fighter jet on a mission in Ukraine (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service via AP)

The situation is even worse in the southern city of Kherson, from which Russia retreated nearly two weeks ago after months of occupation – cutting power and water lines.

Many doctors in the city are working in the dark, unable to use elevators to transport patients to surgery and operating with headlamps, mobile phones and torches. In some hospitals, key equipment no longer works.

Meanwhile, in Strasbourg, France, the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed a resolution labelling Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its invasion of and actions in Ukraine. The non-binding but symbolically significant resolution passed in a 494-58 vote with 48 abstentions.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed the vote, writing on Twitter: “Russia must be isolated at all levels and be held accountable in order to end its longstanding policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe.”

After Wednesday’s strikes, senior Zelenskiy aide Andriy Yermak wrote on Telegram: “The terrorists immediately confirm that they are terrorists – they launch rockets. Naive losers.”

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