Millions Without Power After Russian Airstrikes, Zelenskyy Says

 Millions Without Power After Russian Airstrikes, Zelenskyy Says

VOA News

Ukrainian officials reported fresh missile strikes Thursday in multiple parts of the country, with targets including gas facilities.

The focus of the strikes, by drones as well as missiles, continues to be energy infrastructure, the Ukrainian military said in statement, adding that the attacks stretched from Kyiv to Odesa in the south.

Ukraine says it has shot down two cruise missiles, five air-launched missiles and five Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, according to Reuters, which said it could not independently verify battlefield reports.

As the first snow fell in Kyiv, officials said utility workers were trying to restore power nationwide after a barrage of Russian airstrikes earlier this week.

About 10 million people were without power, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday evening in his nightly video report.

A United Nations agency said it feared a humanitarian crisis this winter if the power outages continued.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted Thursday morning that he was speaking by phone with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as Russia carried out “another massive missile attack on Ukraine.”

Kuleba said he thanked the United States for providing military aid, and he stressed the need for speeding up deliveries of air defense systems.

He cited the success of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System that Ukrainian forces began using earlier this month. Kuleba also said he is convinced the time has come for Ukraine to receive the more advanced U.S. Patriot air defense system.

In the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, Russia was using troops pulled from Kherson to unleash heavy fighting. The Ukrainian military said Russian forces fired artillery on the towns of Bakhmut and nearby Soledar, among others.

They were also shelling Balakliya in the Kharkiv region and Nikopol, a city on the opposite bank of the Kakhovka reservoir from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, the statement said. Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

Also in the Zaporizhzhia area, a Russian strike hit a residential building, killing at least seven people overnight. Rescuers combed the rubble Thursday, searching for any other victims, according to The Associated Press.

In Luch, a village that sits on the border between the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, the effects of Russian shelling foretell the damage other cities, towns and villages are suffering.

Before Feb. 24, about 1,000 people lived in the village. Now there are only 38.

Luch has been shelled from the side of the Russian-occupied Kherson region almost every day since the start of the war. Today, no buildings remain intact in the village.

“It’s tough. We are constantly hiding; we can’t figure out what side the missiles are coming from,” said Galyna, a resident of the village. “We had such a lovely village, and now there’s nothing left. Everything is in ruins.”

Yelyzaveta Krotyk contributed to this report. Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse, Reuters and The Associated Press.

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