Russia fired more than 70 missiles into Ukraine on Friday in one of its biggest attacks since the start of the war, knocking out power in the country’s second-largest city and forcing Kyiv to impose emergency shutdowns, Ukrainian officials said. run all over the country.
They said three people were killed when an apartment block was hit in the center of Krivi Riyeh, and another person died in shelling in Kherson in the south. Officials stationed by Russia in occupied eastern Ukraine announced that 12 people were killed as a result of Ukrainian shelling.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an evening video address that Russia still has enough missiles for several larger attacks, and he again called on Western allies to supply Kyiv with more and better air defense systems.
Zelensky said Ukraine is strong enough to bounce back. “Whatever the rocket fans from Moscow are counting on, it still won’t change the balance of power in this war,” he said.
Kyiv warned on Thursday that Moscow was planning a new all-out offensive early next year, about a year after its February 24 invasion, in which large swaths of Ukraine would be ravaged by missiles and artillery. but a small amount of it has been captured by Russian forces.
Russia has rained missiles on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure almost weekly since early October after several battlefield setbacks, but Friday’s attack appears to have caused more damage than most, with snow and ice already widespread.
After some repairs, Ukrainian grid operator Ukrenergo lifted the state of emergency that forced it to implement a blackout. But Ukrenergo also warned that more time is needed to repair equipment and restore power than in previous bombings.
Ukraine’s Air Force announced that Russia flew warplanes near Ukraine to try to distract its air defenses. The country’s army chief said 60 of the 76 Russian missiles had been shot down, but German Energy Minister Galushenko said at least nine power generation facilities had been hit.
Moscow says the aim of these attacks is to disable the Ukrainian army. Ukrainians call them war crimes.
“They want to destroy us and make us slaves. But we will not give up. We will endure,” said Lydia Vasilieva, 53, as she walked to a shelter at a railway station in the capital Kyiv.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said late Friday that only a third of residents have both heat and water and 40 percent have electricity. He added that the metro system – a major transport artery – remains closed.
Zelensky urged Ukrainians to be patient and asked regional authorities to be more creative in arranging emergency energy supplies.
The northeastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest, was also badly hit, knocking out electricity, heating and running water. Interfax Ukraine news agency cited regional governor Oleh Synehubov as saying later on Friday that 55% of the city’s power was back up, and 85% in the surrounding region.
Liudmyla Kovylko, cooking at an emergency food distribution point, said life must go on. “We heard explosions, the power went out. People need to be fed. We’re cooking on a wood stove.”
Russian forces occupy about a fifth of Ukraine – in its south and east – and many soldiers from both sides are reported to have been killed and wounded in the brutal fighting, although neither has provided detailed accounts of their military casualties.
Russia-based officials said recent Ukrainian shelling has killed civilians in two locations.
The Russian TASS news agency quoted the emergency services as saying that 11 people were killed, 20 wounded and 20 others missing in the village of Lantratyuka near the Russian border in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, which is controlled by Russia.
Leonid Paschenik, the governor of the Russian-deployed region, called the attack “barbaric”.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify the latest battlefield accounts.
Ukraine had shot down 37 out of 40 missiles fired at the Kyiv area, Kyiv military spokesperson Mykhailo Shamanov said, calling Friday’s missile volley one of Russia’s heaviest.
“The goal of the Russian Federation is for Ukrainians to be constantly under pressure,” Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko wrote in a social media post.
PARTIAL REPAIRS TO GRID
The country has restored much of its electricity and water supply after previous attacks, but the task is becoming increasingly difficult.
Ukraine’s small and medium-sized enterprises have imported about half a million generators, but the country needs thousands more, bigger and more powerful generators to weather the winter, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal said.
With no peace talks in sight, Ukraine’s defense chiefs predicted on Thursday that Russia would launch a new all-out offensive early next year that could include a second attempt to take Kyiv, which they tried and earlier this year failed to do. managed to capture her.
In an interview with The Economist magazine, Zelensky, General Valery Zalogeny and General Alexander Sirsky said that a new attack could happen as early as January.
The country has restored much of its power and water supply after previous attacks, but that task is becoming increasingly difficult.
Ukraine’s small and medium-sized businesses have imported about half a million power generators, but the country needs thousands more, bigger and stronger, to weather the winter, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.
With no peace talks in sight, Ukrainian defense chiefs predicted on Thursday that Russia would launch a new all-out offensive early next year, which could include a second attempt to seize Kyiv, which they tried and failed to capture early on. this year.
A new attack could happen as early as January, Zelenskiy, General Valery Zaluzhniy and General Oleksandr Syrskiy said in interviews with The Economist magazine.
They said that the pressure could be launched from the eastern region of Donbass, the south or neighboring Belarus.
A Russian Defense Ministry video shows Russian and Belarusian military training in Belarus using tanks, machine guns and drones and crossing a river. White House spokesman John Kirby in Washington said there were no signs of Ukraine’s imminent departure from Belarusian territory.
Russia calls its invasion a “special military operation” to disarm and “de-identify” Ukraine. Thousands have been killed, cities reduced to ruins and millions forced from their homes in what the West says is an imperial-style land grab.