Russia pounds Ukrainian power facilities, Kremlin embraces ‘war’ rhetoric

Mar22,2024



Kyiv: Attack on Russia Ukrainian power facilities on Friday in the attack described by Kyiv It was portrayed as the largest air attack on its energy infrastructure in two years of war, and as Moscow's revenge for Ukrainian attacks during its presidential election.
Kiev officials said the missile and drone attack hit a massive dam on the Dnipro River, killing at least five people and knocking out power to more than a million, prompting Kiev to receive emergency calls from Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Was forced to ask for power supply.
Kiev said the attacks caused blackouts in seven regions, evoking memories of the winter of 2022-23 when Moscow regularly bombed Ukraine's power grid.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the airstrike was in response to Ukraine's shelling and cross-border raids last week as Russians took part in a stage-managed election that the president won. Vladimir Putin Fifth term.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “The world sees the targets of Russian terrorists as clearly as possible: power plants and energy supply lines, a hydroelectric dam, ordinary residential buildings, even a trolleybus.”
Condemning the attack, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said: “The goal is not just to cause damage, but to try to cause a massive failure of the country's energy system again, like last year.”
Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians, although the war, which began with its full-scale invasion in February 2022, has killed thousands, uprooted millions and destroyed towns and cities.
Moscow says Ukrainian power facilities are legitimate targets and that such attacks are aimed at weakening Kiev's military.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a Russian publication on Friday that Moscow finds itself in a “war situation” because of the West's interference on Kiev's behalf.
The comment marks a rhetorical break from the “special military operations” language that Moscow officials had used throughout the invasion in an apparent move to prepare the Russians for a long and difficult conflict.
European Union Council President Charles Michel said Russia's comments about war with Europe reflected the importance of the EU building up its own defense industry.
'Critical humanitarian situation'
Local authorities and the General Prosecutor's Office said two people were killed in the western Khmelnytskyi region and three in Zaporizhia in the south-east, at least one of whom was hit at the dam. Twenty-six people were reported injured.
Ukraine's largest dam, the DniproHES in the city of Zaporizhia, was damaged eight times, an official from the Ukrainian prosecutor's office said.
The state hydropower company said there was no risk of a breach. Company director Ihor Sirota said both its power block and dam were damaged. There were two direct attacks on one block, he said.
A state ecological inspectorate said oil had leaked into the Dnipro River, which passes through the dam. In one picture, layers of oil are seen forming on the river near the dam.
“The widespread impact of today's attacks on critical civilian infrastructure is further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation for millions of people in Ukraine,” Denis Browne, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said in a statement.
Russia fired 88 missiles and 63 downed drones, of which 37 and 55 were shot down respectively, the Ukrainian Air Force said, with the attacks concentrated in the areas of Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia.
This represents a worse ratio than usual, possibly reflecting Moscow's widespread use of ballistic missiles, which are harder to attack, and the proximity of the targeted areas to Russian-controlled areas.
Presidential aide Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram that the attacks left about 1.2 million people without electricity in at least four regions. About 700,000 of them were in the area east of Kharkiv alone.
Ukraine's largest private energy company, DTEK, said some of its thermal power plants were affected. Ukraine's state oil and gas company Naftogaz said its facilities had been damaged by the strike, without specifying what damage was caused.



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