Russian Airstrikes Hit Ukraine’s Power Grid, Prompt Emergency Blackouts: Report

Waves of Russian airstrikes jolted Ukraine on Tuesday, prompting officials to declare emergency blackouts after assaults from east to west knocked out electricity and targeted residential structures in Kyiv, news agency Associated Press (AP) reported. 

According to the Associated Press, a Ukrainian air force spokesperson claimed Russia launched around 100 missiles across the country.

The aerial assault, which killed at least one person in a residential building in the capital, Kyiv, came after days of elation in Ukraine fueled by one of the country’s largest military victories in the almost nine-month war, the retaking of the southern city of Kherson last week, AP reported. 

“Up to 20 more missiles can be expected (today). Stay in bomb shelters. We know what Russia is trying to achieve. It will fail,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated, according to the Kyiv Independent. 

As its war losses increase, Russia has increasingly turned to target Ukraine’s electricity grid in recent months, evidently expecting to use the approaching winter as a weapon by putting people in the cold and dark.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a top Ukrainian official, called the situation “serious” and advised Ukrainians to “hang in there.” Power supplier DTEK declared emergency blackouts in the capital, and authorities announced similar measures elsewhere, AP reported. 

According to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, officials discovered a body in one of the residential buildings hit.

Strikes were reported in Lviv, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytskyi, and Rivne in the west, and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in the northeast. According to its mayor, Oleksandr Vilkul, many missile attacks also damaged Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to AP. 

In Kyiv, a presidential aide released a video of a five-story, apparently residential structure on fire, with flames licking through flats. According to the mayor, three residential buildings were hit, and air defence units shot down further missiles. Vitali Klitschko stated on his Telegram social media channel that medics and rescuers are being dispatched to the attack sites, AP reported. 

Ukraine had experienced a period of relative peace following earlier waves of drone and missile attacks a few weeks ago.

The strikes occurred as authorities were already working feverishly to get Kherson back on its feet and begin investigating suspected Russian abuses in the city and surrounding areas.

The southern city is without power and water, and Matilda Bogner, the head of the UN human rights office’s monitoring mission in Ukraine, declared a “dire humanitarian situation” there on Tuesday, The Kyiv Independent reported. 

(With Inputs From Agencies)