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Ukraine: Zelensky accuses Russia of energy ‘terror’ as Russian attacks cut power to millions





CNN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “Energy Terror”“Following Moscow’s repeated attacks on critical infrastructures that have shut down power to hundreds of thousands of people.

According to city mayor Vitalii Klitschko, around 450,000 households across Kyiv were without power on Friday as nationwide power outages continued. “It is one and a half times more than in recent days,” Klitschko said on Telegram.

It followed dire warnings about a cold and difficult winter ahead for those who remain in the country, after weeks of Russian air strikes and missile attacks on Ukraine’s power grid.

Just this week, attacks on critical infrastructure in the Kyiv, Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia regions have left millions without electricity and water intermittently. As of Thursday night, about 4.5 million consumers had temporarily had their electricity supply cut off according to a stable and emergency schedule, according to Zelensky.

“The fact that Russia has used terrorism against the energy sector shows the weakness of the enemy. They cannot defeat Ukraine on the battlefield and therefore they are trying to break our people in this way,” Zelensky said in his nightly speech.

Russia’s continued aerial attacks have pulled cities in central and western Ukraine back to the forefront of the war, leaving residents of the capital struggling to stay afloat, along with businesses. water and other resources.

Ukraine’s national power supply company, Ukrenergo, said earlier this week that some regions will face prolonged power cuts as it tries to repair damage caused by recent strikes.

The G7 group of wealthy nations will coordinate to support Ukraine as winter approaches the conflict-torn country, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Thursday, ahead of a meeting of the group’s foreign ministers in the southern city of Muenster. West Germany.

“We will not allow the brutality of the war to lead to the deaths of so many old people, children, teenagers and families who die of hunger or cold in the coming winter months due to brutal tactics. of the Russian president,” Baerbock told reporters.

The Ukrainian military says that Russian forces have meanwhile increased their airstrikes near the eastern front lines, using multiple multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), especially in the Donetsk region.

The Army General Staff said 80 such attacks were recorded on Wednesday, while on Thursday “the enemy carried out four missile strikes and 28 air strikes, and fired more than 45 times from MLRS.”

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, overall commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, said in a conversation Thursday with General Christopher Cavoli, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, he noted that “the enemy has increased triple the intensity of hostilities on some areas of the front – up to 80 daily attacks. ”

Russian forces and “collaborators” have also begun a census in the city of Enerhodar, next to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to Ukrainian officials.

Dmytro Orlov, the replaced mayor of Enerhodar, said “they are doing it in their typical way, by force because one cannot refuse to take part in the ‘census’.”

“For the second day, the resuscitators, along with the so-called police collaborators, are doing door-to-door tours and blocking people in the yard. This was reported by local residents who took part in the ‘census,’” Orlov stated.

“In many cases, the census ends with rummaging and browsing through mobile apps. Please take note!” he said. The city’s pre-war population was about 50,000. It has been occupied by Russia since early March.

The state-owned company that operates the nuclear plant, Energoatom, reported on Thursday that Russian shelling about 50 kilometers from the plant disabled two high-voltage transmission lines and the power plant had switched over. “Complete blackout mode. All 20 diesel generators have started operating”. The plant is run by Ukrainian technicians but under the control of Russian state operator Rusatom.

Further south, video on social media and local Telegram channels showed explosions near an airport just north of the city of Kherson, in an area occupied by Russian forces.

The video shows a large plume of black smoke rising from the Chornobaivka area.

The Ukrainian military and Russian-appointed officials in the region have not officially commented on the footage.

On the east bank of the Dnipro River further north, unofficial Telegram channels say that Russian forces are forcing locals to leave the village of Velyka Lepetykha. Russian-backed authorities have announced the evacuation of civilians from an area 15 kilometers along the river as they create new defenses in the area.

According to the same channels, a forced evacuation is also underway in the village of Hornostayivka downstream, while new explosions were heard in the town of Nova Kakhovka, also on the east bank and near a dam and hydroelectric plants on the river.

Humanitarian agencies say such a strategy could constitute human rights violations.

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