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Much of Ukraine and parts of neighboring Moldova were left without power on Wednesday after a fresh wave of missile attacks by Russia.
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The new spate of attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure further weakened Ukraine’s electricity network and added to the misery of citizens as winter sets in.
Ukraine’s air force said Russia fired about 70 cruise missiles on Wednesday, of which 51 were shot down.
At least seven people, including a 17-year-old girl, were killed as explosions were reported in quick succession in several regions of Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv.
Russia has been pounding the power grid and other facilities with hundreds of missile attacks in recent weeks, damaging the energy system faster than it can be repaired.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted after Wednesday’s attacks that he had instructed Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations to request an urgent Security Council meeting.
“Killing civilians, destroying civilian infrastructure are acts of terror,” he said. “Ukraine continues to demand a firm response from the international community to these crimes.”
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, said on the social media app Telegram that such a meeting was called for at 4 p.m. local time (9 p.m. GMT).
On Wednesday, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” for targeting civilians in the invasion of Ukraine.
Before the latest barrage, Mr Zelensky had said Russian strikes had damaged about half of the country’s energy infrastructure.
Rolling power outages have become the new normal for millions of people – and the latest attacks have affected water supplies as well.
Ukrainian officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is hoping that the misery of unheated and unlit houses in the cold and darkness of winter will turn public opinion against the continuation of the war – but says it is a Ukrainian resolution. is strengthening.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Wednesday that “one of the capital’s infrastructure has been damaged” and that there were “several more explosions in different districts” of the city.
He said that the water supply has stopped in the whole of Kyiv.
Kyiv resident Oleksiy Kolpachov told the Associated Press news agency that he heard an explosion as he was getting on an escalator from the subway.
“Then the power suddenly disappeared,” he said. “When I got out of the subway, there was a plume of smoke.”
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Huq said that UN humanitarian officials in Ukraine report that “right now, there are power cuts in every region of Ukraine” and Lviv in the west, Zaporizhia and Odesa in the south, Vinnytsia and Dnipro in the center Including in some areas there is a shortage of electricity. Power has been completely cut off while Kyiv has been left without power in most areas and without water throughout the city.
In Moldova, Minister of Infrastructure Andrei Spinu said there are “massive power cuts across the country”, whose Soviet-era energy systems are intertwined with Ukraine’s. It was Moldova’s second outage this month.
Pro-West President Maia Sandu alleged that “Russia left Moldova in the dark”. He said the future of Moldova, a country of about 2.6 million, “must be towards the free world”.
Moldova’s foreign minister said the Russian ambassador was being called in to give an explanation.
Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear operator, Energoatom, said the attacks caused the country’s last three fully functioning nuclear power stations to be disconnected from the power grid in an “emergency security” measure.
It said they would resume power supply as soon as the grid was “normal”.
The energy ministry said the attacks also caused a temporary blackout of most thermal and hydroelectric power plants, and affected transmission facilities.
Crews were working to restore supplies, “but given the extent of the damage, we will need time,” it said on Facebook.
Wednesday’s blackout caused “the biggest internet outage in months in Ukraine and the first to affect neighboring Moldova, which has partially recovered,” said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at network-monitoring Kentic Inc.
Most of Ukraine and parts of Moldova without power after fresh missile strikes
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