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Power outages in parts of Ukraine after 'massive' Russian attacks | Russia-Ukraine war News

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Hundreds of thousands of people in central and western Ukraine were left without power after Russia launched massive drone and missile strikes, as intense fighting continued in the southeastern regions of Luhansk, Donetsk and Kherson, where Russia is struggling to halt renewed Ukrainian advances.

The Ukrainian air force said on Saturday that Russia had launched a “major missile strike” targeting “critical infrastructure” hours after airstrike sirens sounded across the country. He said he had shot down 18 of 33 cruise missiles launched from the air and from the sea.

Local authorities in regions across Ukraine have reported strikes and blackouts at power plants as engineers struggle to rebuild the dilapidated network. Some advised residents to stock up on water in case of blackouts.

Since October 10, Russia has intensified its attacks on power plants, water supply systems and other important infrastructures across the country, destroying a third of Ukraine’s power stations in clear retaliation for an attack on the Crimean bridge, an important military supply route. Advances made by Ukrainian forces.

(Al Jazeera)

No power, no water

After the first wave of missiles hit in the early morning hours, at 11.15 am (08:15 GMT) local time, the nationwide air raid sirens sounded again.

State grid operator Ukrenergo said the attacks targeted transmission infrastructure in western Ukraine, but imposed power supply restrictions in 10 regions across the country, including the capital, Kyiv.

“The scale of damage can be comparable or exceed the consequences of attacks [between] October 10-12,” Ukrenergo referred to the first wave of strikes against Ukraine’s electricity system last week in its Telegram app.

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

The western city of Khmelnytskyi, located on the Bug river and home to some 275,000 people before the war, was without power shortly after several loud explosions were reported in the local press.

The city council urged residents to store water “if it runs out in an hour”, in a social media post on Saturday.

The mayor of Lutsk, a population of 215,000 in Ukraine’s far west, made a similar call on Telegram on Saturday. The power in Lutsk said it was partially cut off after Russian missiles hit local energy facilities.

The central city of Uman, which was a major pilgrimage center for Hasidic Jews before the war, which had about 100,000 residents before the war, was also plunged into darkness after a rocket hit a nearby power station, regional officials said on Telegram.

In comments to the AFP news agency on Saturday, Ukrenergo said parts of Ukraine had reduced electricity use by up to 20 percent.

“We are grateful to both people who are reducing their consumption at home and businesses that are doing the same in their offices and workplaces. We see that the level of voluntary consumption reduction varies on average between five percent and 20 percent in different regions and on different days,” Ukrenergo chief Volodymyr Kudrytskyi told AFP.

Earlier this week, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged consumers to restrict their power use between 7:00 am and 11:00 am daily and to avoid using energy-consuming devices such as electric heaters.

fighting in Kherson

Meanwhile, Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday that its forces had repelled attempts to attack Ukraine in the southern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, and in the southern region of Kherson.

In the statement, it was stated that the Russian forces blocked the attempt to break the defense line in the Kherson region of Ukraine with the settlements of Piatykhatky, Sukhanove, Sablukivka and Bezvodne.

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

Civilians evacuated from the Russian-controlled Kherson region of Ukraine arrive at a train station in the Crimean town of Dzhankoi, 20 October 2022.  REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak TPX PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Civilians evacuated from Ukraine’s Russian-controlled Kherson region arrive at a train station in the Crimean town of Dzhankoi 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 large dam in the Kherson region. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russian forces placed explosives on the Nova Kakhovka dam.

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

Neither side provided evidence for their claims.

Kimberley Halkett, reported by Al Jazeera from the White House, spoke to John Kirby, the Strategic Communications Coordinator of the National Security Council, and said Russia’s attack on civilian infrastructure, including those alleged at the dam, was “absolutely unacceptable”.

“It’s another example of Russian brutality, where he’s trying to instill fear in the Ukrainian people and influence their ability to survive what will likely be a cold winter,” he said.

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