Power outages in parts of Ukraine after ‘massive’ Russian attacks | war news between russia and ukraine

Hundreds of thousands of people were cut off from power in central and western Ukraine after Russia carried out massive drone and missile attacks, with heavy fighting continuing in the southeastern Luhansk, Donetsk and Kherson regions as Russia struggles to stem Ukraine’s renewed advance.

Ukraine’s air force said in a statement on Saturday that Russia launched an “extensive missile attack” targeting “critical infrastructure,” hours after sirens sounded across the country. It said it shot down 18 of the 33 cruise missiles launched from the air and sea.

Local officials in regions across Ukraine reported strikes on power facilities and blackouts as engineers scrambled to repair the damaged grid. Some advised residents to stockpile water in case of an outage.

Russia has intensified its attacks on power plants, water supply systems and other key infrastructure across the country since October 10, destroying a third of Ukraine’s power plants in an apparent response to an attack on the Crimean Bridge – a major military supply route – and most recently. The progress made by the Ukrainian forces.

(The island)

No electricity, no water

After the first wave of missiles struck early in the morning, sirens sounded again across the country at 11.15 am local time (08:15 GMT).

Uknergo, the state network operator, said the attacks targeted transport infrastructure in western Ukraine, but power supply restrictions were imposed in 10 regions across the country, including the capital, Kyiv.

The amount of damage is comparable to or may exceed the consequences of attacks [between] October 10-12,” Uknergo wrote on the Telegram app, referring to the first wave of strikes on the Ukrainian energy system last week.

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“Another missile attack from terrorists who are fighting against civilian infrastructure and people,” the chief of staff of the Ukrainian president, Andriy Yermak, wrote on the Telegram app.

The western city of Khmelnytskyi, which is located on the Bug River and had a population of about 275,000 people before the war, was not without electricity, soon after local media reported several loud explosions.

The city council urged residents to stock up on the water, “in case it also disappears within an hour,” in a social media post on Saturday.

The mayor of Lutsk, a city of 215,000 people located in the far west of Ukraine, made a similar appeal via Telegram on Saturday. He said power in Lutsk was partially disrupted after Russian missiles hit local power facilities.

Local authorities said on Telegram that the central city of Uman, a major pilgrimage center for Hasidic Jews who numbered around 100,000 before the war, was also plunged into darkness after a missile hit a nearby power station.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse on Saturday, Oknergo said some parts of Ukraine have reduced their electricity consumption by up to 20 percent.

“We are grateful to both the people, who have reduced their consumption at home, and the companies, who are doing the same in their offices and workplaces. We see savings in different regions and on different days, the level of reduction ranges,” said Oknergo president Volodymyr Kudretsky in written comments to AFP. Voluntary consumption is from five to 20 percent on average.

Earlier this week, President Volodymyr Zelensky called on consumers to limit their energy use between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. daily, and to avoid using energy-intensive appliances such as electric heaters.

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Fighting in Kherson

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said, on Saturday, that its forces repelled Ukrainian offensive attempts in the southern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk and the southern Kherson region.

It said that the Russian forces prevented Ukraine’s attempt to break through its line of defense in the Kherson region through the settlements of Pyatikatki, Sukhanov, Sablokivka and Bezvodny.

Ukrainian authorities say they have captured about 88 towns in the region. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the reports from the battlefield.

Civilians evacuees from the Russian-controlled Kherson region of Ukraine arrive at a railway station in the town of Dzhankoy, Crimea, October 20, 2022. REUTERS/Alexey Pavlichak TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Civilians evacuated from the Russian-controlled Kherson region of Ukraine arrive at a railway station in the town of Dzhankoy, Crimea, on October 20, 2022. [Alexey Pavlishak/Reuters]

Kherson is one of four Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Moscow last month.

Russia and Ukraine also accused each other of planning to blow up a huge dam in the Kherson region. President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Russian forces were planting explosives in the Nova Kakhovka Dam.

He warned that its destruction would be catastrophic. Meanwhile, Russian officials in Kherson accused Ukraine of firing missiles at the dam.

Neither side has provided evidence for their allegations.

Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett spoke from the White House to National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby who said Russia’s attack on civilian infrastructure, including alleged infrastructure on the dam, was “totally unacceptable.”

“It is yet another example of Russian brutality against the Ukrainian people trying to instill fear in them as it tries to influence their ability to weather what will likely be a cold winter,” he said.

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