Ukraine battles to restore power after latest Russian barrage

The Nation  |  Nov 25, 2022

Kyiv-Ukraine struggled Thursday to repair its battered power and water services after Russia targeted the electricity grid with dozens of cruise missiles and temperatures plunged.

The Ukrainian energy system is on the brink of collapse and millions have been subjected to emergency blackouts for weeks due to systematic Russian bombardments of the grid. The World Health Organisation has warned of “life-threatening” consequences and estimated that millions could leave their homes as a result.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko said more than two-thirds of the capital was still cut off on Thursday despite municipal workers in Kyiv restoring some water service overnight.

“Seventy percent of the capital remains without electricity,” Klitschko said. “Energy companies are making every effort to return it as soon as possible,” he added.

Ukraine’s military accused Russian forces of firing around 70 cruise missiles at targets across the country on Wednesday and of deploying attack drones.

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Moscow’s targeting of Ukrainian power facilities is their latest strategy hoping to force capitulation after nine months of war that has seen Russian forces fail in most of their stated territorial objectives.             Wednesday’s attacks left multiple people dead, disconnected three Ukrainian nuclear plants automatically from the national grid and even provoked blackouts in neighbouring Moldova, whose energy network is linked to Ukraine.

“So many victims, so many houses ruined,” 52-year-old Iryna Shyrokova told AFP in Vyshgorod on the outskirts of Kyiv after the Russian strikes.

“People have nowhere to live, nowhere to sleep. It’s cold. I can’t explain it. What for? We are also human beings,” she said, calling it “the scariest day”. Ukraine’s energy ministry said that all three nuclear facilities had been reconnected by Thursday morning.

The governor of Kharkiv region -- home to the country’s second largest city -- said the eponymous city was suffering electricity supply issues and “emergency power shutdowns”.

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