Russian Missiles Target Ukrainian Energy Facilities Before Winter

A view shows a site of an industrial area destroyed by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the village of Vyshneve, in Kyiv region, Ukraine, Thursday. (REUTERS/Sergiy Voloshyn)

KYIV (Reuters) – Russia on Thursday launched its biggest missile attack in weeks on Kyiv and across Ukraine, wounding at least 18 people, damaging energy facilities and causing power cuts, Ukrainian authorities said.

Partial power cuts were reported in five Ukrainian regions in the west, center and east, bringing back memories of a Russian air campaign on critical infrastructure last winter that caused sweeping outages for Ukrainian civilians.

“Due to the consequences of the first enemy attack in six months, there is damage to energy facilities in the western and central regions,” grid operator Ukrenergo said in a statement on social media.

“There were partial blackouts in the Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv regions,” it said.

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said Russia had fired 43 cruise missiles at targets overnight and that Ukrainian air defenses shot down 36 of them.

“The missiles were launched in several waves. They entered Ukraine’s airspace from several directions, constantly changing their route,” he said.

Loud blasts rocked Kyiv and the surrounding region as dawn was breaking, Reuters witnesses said. Authorities reported sending rescue teams to several locations in the capital.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko said seven people, including a girl aged nine, were injured in the capital. Missile debris fell in the city center and an infrastructure facility and several non-residential buildings were damaged, causing a fire, he said.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said a hotel and several shopping kiosks were damaged in Cherkasy in central Ukraine and that seven people were injured.

The emergency services posted a video on social media showing rescuers carrying out an injured man on a stretcher as a fire rages.

The Interior Ministry and regional officials reported blasts in Cherkasy, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskiy, Rivne, Vinnytsia, Lviv, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

Maksym Kozytskyi, Lviv’s regional governor, said three Russian missiles hit the city of Drohobych in the west, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Polish border.

Kozytskyi said an infrastructure facility and warehouses were hit.

In a separate overnight attack, two people were killed by Russian shelling of a dormitory in the southern city of Kherson, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.

The attacks come as Ukraine presses on with a counteroffensive against Russian forces in the east and south.

A Ukrainian intelligence source said Ukraine’s SBU security service and navy had struck the Saky air base in Russian-occupied Crimea overnight, inflicting “serious damage.”

The Russian military, meanwhile, said it had destroyed 19 Ukrainian drones over Crimea and the Black Sea, but gave no details on casualties or damage.

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