Ukraine’s prime minister is warning that Kyiv could face a “total shutdown” of the power grid due to Russian strikes.
Russian blackouts have knocked out nearly half of Ukraine’s power, the government said Friday, and officials in the capital Kyiv warned the city could face a “complete shutdown” of the power grid when winter sets in.
“Unfortunately, Russia continues to bomb Ukraine and critical areas. About half of our energy is disabled,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said at a press conference with Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president of the European Commission.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said about 10 million people were without power in a country of about 44 million people before the war. He said that the authorities in some areas ordered that the electricity be turned off suddenly.
Ukrainian grid operator Ukrenergo said Russia launched six major attacks on Ukraine’s electricity grid between October 10 and November 15.
Russia has staged mass protests across Ukraine after a key bridge connecting the Crimea Peninsula was partially damaged in an explosion in October. Moscow blamed Kyiv for the attack, a charge Ukraine denies.
Temperatures plummet to zero degrees and Kyiv sees its first snow, as officials work to restore power across the country after Ukraine’s nine-month war.
The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian crisis in the country this winter due to the lack of electricity and water.
“We are preparing for various events, including a complete shutdown,” Mykola Povoroznyk, deputy head of the Kyiv city administration, said on television.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said its forces used long-range weapons on Thursday to attack defense facilities and factories, including “missile production facilities”.
The spokesman of the Ukrainian military said in an evening report that Russian troops, who are now deployed to the east bank of the Dnieper River in Kherson region, destroyed the towns of Antonivka and Bilozerka on the west bank and Chornobaivka, which they used. as a storage facility.
Moscow was forced to withdraw from the regional capital, also called Kherson, on November 9.
Searchers in the liberated areas of the Kherson region have found 63 bodies with signs of torture after Russian troops left, Ukraine’s interior ministry said.
The head of the Ukrainian Parliament for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, released a video of what he said was a torture chamber used by the Russian military in the Kherson region.
Reuters was unable to confirm the statements made by Lubinets and others in the video. Russia denies that its forces are targeting civilians or committing atrocities.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what Moscow said was a special military operation to remove dangerous people. Kyiv calls Russia’s actions an illegal territorial grab and imperialism.
Thousands of Russian men have fled to another country to escape conscription in a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions, turned cities into ruins and re-established Cold War-era divisions.