Fresh Russian Strikes Leave Parts of Ukraine Without Power

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia launched one of its most destructive attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure on Saturday, using a new wave of cruise missile attacks to intensify its campaign to deplete the country of power as winter approaches.

Power grid operator Ukrenergo said on Saturday that more than 10 Ukrainian regions had power outages following an attack that the operator said may have caused more serious damage than a dam last week, the biggest since the Russian invasion. in February.

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Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government, said nearly 1.5 million Ukrainians were left without power.

Ukrenergo said it would begin limiting electricity supplies to homes in the capital, Kyiv, and in several regions as a result of the recent attacks, to ease pressure on the grid and give workers time to repair the damage.

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He urged residents to reduce their electricity use.

“Your judicious energy consumption can help you avoid forced shutdowns, keep that in mind,” said Ukrenergo.

A resident of the northeast region of Kharkiv walked on Friday with her neighbor by her house after it was damaged by a Russian attack.



His statement came Saturday morning as missiles continued to fly towards targets in Ukraine, and likely does not reflect the extent of upcoming power cuts across the country.

The latest dam left many Ukrainian regions partially without electricity, officials said. Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, praised the city’s air defenses for shooting down missiles aimed at the city, but urged residents of the capital to limit energy consumption.

In Odessa, the governor said two missiles hit power infrastructure and several settlements in the southern region were left without power. In Lutsk, in western Ukraine, Mayor Ihor Polishchuk said power infrastructure has been hit and part of the city is without electricity.

Russia’s missile and drone strikes aim to “take electricity, water and heat away from our people during the winter,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday.

A missile comes out of the ground after destroying a power line in the Kharkiv region.



“This could lead to a manufactured humanitarian catastrophe of the kind that Europe has not seen since World War II,” he added, saying that one of Russia’s goals was to provoke a new influx of Ukrainian refugees into the European Union.

Shmyhal called on Ukraine’s supporters to expedite the delivery of anti-aircraft missile batteries and drone scrambling systems, as well as mobile generators and water processing equipment. Western governments must agree on a mechanism to seize Russian assets frozen in their countries and use them to finance Ukraine and support Ukrainian refugees, he said.

In separate comments in parliament on Friday, Shmyhal said that between October 10 and 20, more than 400 infrastructure objects in 16 Ukrainian regions were damaged.

The United Nations said that between October 10 and 18, at least 38 Ukrainian civilians were killed and at least 117 were wounded by Russian missile and drone strikes. Kyiv said about a third of its energy capacity was destroyed.

UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo said on Friday that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited under international law and that there is evidence that Russia has committed war crimes and human rights violations since the 24 February.

An electrician repairs bomb-damaged power lines in the Kharkiv region.



Ukrainians were urged by the country’s electricity grid operator to reduce their electricity use.


Serhii Korovayny for the Wall Street Journal

Russia’s attempt to destroy Ukraine’s heating and power capacity adds a new dimension to the conflict, with Moscow seeking to erode the resilience of Ukrainian civilians while pushing to stop a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

On the battlefield, a Ukrainian advance towards the southern city of Kherson continued on Saturday. Russian authorities based in Kherson told residents to leave the city immediately “because of the tense situation on the front lines”. They had already announced the evacuation as a voluntary one.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin initiated a phone call with his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, on Friday, the first such contact between the two officials since May. But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he did not see Russia’s willingness to hold talks on ending the war.

“All indications are that, far from being willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, the president [Vladimir] Putin continues to go in the opposite direction,” Blinken said Friday in Washington.

Corrections and amplifications
Denys Shmyhal is the Prime Minister of Ukraine. An earlier version of this article misspelled your last name in an instance like Shmyal. (Fixed October 22)

write to Matthew Luxmoore at [email protected]

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