Russia fires missiles at Ukraine as Putin tries to shut off electricity, heating and water
Russia unleashed a fresh wave of missile attacks on cities and towns across Ukraine yesterday as Vladimir Putin attempts to shut down the country’s electricity, heating and water supplies ahead of winter.
They rained down on power plants from Odessa, the Black Sea resort town in the south, to Kovel, a medieval town near the Belarusian border in the north, leaving about 40 percent of power infrastructure out of service.
It was the thirteenth straight day that drones and missiles targeted the war-torn nation’s power system, leading to blackouts, water shortages and desperate pleas from politicians for citizens to limit usage.
Firefighters work to put out a fire at energy infrastructure facilities in Rivne on Saturday, as Russia unleashed a fresh wave of missile attacks on Ukraine in a bid to cripple the country
Putin, humiliated by military setbacks in his botched invasion, is trying to arm Ukraine’s winter by freezing the nation into submission – just as he is arming his control of Europe’s energy supply by pumping up prices.
The tactic was unleashed two days after the dictator recruited Sergei Surovikin – a rowdy veteran of the Syrian conflict nicknamed General Armageddon – to command the invasion and rescue his beleaguered regime.
It comes as the Kremlin suffered further setbacks in the eight-month war, when Russian-installed authorities in the southern city of Kherson ordered residents to leave ahead of Ukrainian advances.
Russian-installed authorities in the southern city of Kherson ordered residents to leave ahead of Ukrainian advances on Saturday
The pro-Putin government urged civilians to use boat crossings across the Dnieper to advance deeper into Russian-held territory.
Ukrenergo, the state-owned electricity company, said yesterday’s attacks caused the most devastating damage yet to its systems in the west of the country.
Ten of Ukraine’s 24 regions and 1.5 million people suffered power outages yesterday, including in the capital Kyiv.
State rail operator Ukrzaliznytsia – which has continued with minimal disruption throughout the war – said it is bringing older coal-powered trains back into service and is seeing delays “due to the enemy attack”.
In Zhytomyr, a town 90 miles west of Kyiv that has recently suffered a spate of strikes, half its 220,000 residents were without electricity and water yesterday.
Serhiy Sukhomlyn, the city’s mayor, told me: “We are ready to face these difficulties, although there are no streetlights in the city in the evenings, some public transport is not working, and today we have problems with the water supply.”
Hospitals rely on backup generators while engineers desperately try to repair damaged facilities to restore operations.
But Sukhomlyn insists the nation will remain defiant.
“This will not result in the Ukrainian people capitulating and offering to Putin to start peace talks.
“Victory will be decided at the front lines and we are willing to endure the hardships to bring victory closer.”
The attacks – at least 330 in two weeks – signify a new twist in the war. Putin wants to shut down Ukraine’s infrastructure to demoralize a population that has already witnessed grotesque atrocities and forced millions to flee.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who ruled out negotiations with Putin last week, warned European leaders that this “terror” was also intended to encourage a new exodus of people from his country to destroy the continent.
Rockets rained down on power plants from Odessa, the Black Sea resort town in the south, to Kovel, a medieval town near the Belarusian border in the north, rendering about 40 percent of power infrastructure inoperable. Pictured: firefighters in the Rivne region
Defense sources said more than 30 cruise missiles were fired from Russian planes and naval vessels in the Black Sea yesterday, with 18 shot down before hitting their targets – including five towards Kyiv.
Nearly 200 attacks have involved Iranian-supplied kamikaze drones that fly low and hover over targets such as the substations that feed the power grid.
This affects Ukraine’s Soviet-era heating and water systems, which rely on electricity to pump supplies through long-distance lines to homes and businesses.
Ukrainian soldiers fire mortars at Russian positions in Bakhmut, Donetsk, Ukraine
After Zelenskyy urged people to reduce electricity consumption, Ukrainians started talking about “the energy front” while sharing tips on how to reduce consumption.
In three regions, police are patrolling the streets after dark to ensure shops, businesses and offices turn off unnecessary lights such as shop windows and neon signs – and are warning those who don’t act if the electricity will be cut.
Kyiv was divided into three areas, with consecutive four-hour blackouts for each in turn.
Residents were asked not to use any electrical devices – including kettles and WiFi routers – between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
“Even one kilowatt saved is a help for our energy system,” said Oleksiy Kuleba, the region’s governor.
If you walk through the capital after dark at 6 p.m., you will notice that many shops, cafes and restaurants are closed.
There is an eerie darkness and stillness – almost reminiscent of the early days of the war.
At a city center cafe, barista Danylo said they would close just after 8pm on Friday night when the lights went out.
So the staff lit candles and played patriotic songs at high volume while they cleaned up.
“Wartime is very difficult for business,” he said. “Of course we’d all prefer there weren’t any blackouts or sirens when we have to close, or bad inflation caused by the war – but it’s better to be in the dark than under Russian rule.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11344269/Russia-unleashes-missiles-Ukraine-Putin-tries-shut-electricity-heating-water.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Russia fires missiles at Ukraine as Putin tries to shut off electricity, heating and water