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Russian missile barrage causes blackouts in Ukraine

Russia has hit Ukraine’s energy facilities with its biggest barrage of missiles yet, hitting targets from east to west and causing widespread blackouts.

President Volodymr Zelenskyy said Russia fired at least 85 missiles on Tuesday, “most of them at our energy infrastructure,” cutting off power in many cities.

“We are working, we will restore everything. We will survive everything,” said the president.

Its energy minister said it was the “most massive” bombing of power facilities in Russia’s nearly nine-month invasion.

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The barrage of attacks ensued Leaders of the Group of 20 nations met in Bali for a Moscow-dominated war summit in Kyiv. They also followed what have been days of euphoria in Ukraine after one of its greatest military successes in the nearly nine-month Russian invasion: last week’s recapture of the southern city of Kherson.

As its battlefield losses mount, Russia has increasingly resorted in recent months to attacking Ukraine’s power grid, cutting power in several areas, ostensibly to weaponize the approach of winter by leaving people at home. cold and dark.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen Ukrainian regions reported attacks, hitting parts of cities including Kyiv, Lviv and Rivne in the west, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the northeast, Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and Poltava in the center, Odessa in the south, and Zhytomyr in the north.

In Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said authorities found a body in one of three residential buildings that were attacked and said about half of the capital had no power.

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Lviv’s mayor said there was no power in the city and Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said critical infrastructure facilities had also been damaged there.

“There are problems with the power supply. Electric surface transport and the metro have stopped,” Terekhov wrote on Telegram.

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Rivne Governor Vitaliy Koval said there had been missile strikes but reported no casualties in his town.

Neighboring Moldova was also affected. It reported massive power outages after raids downed a key power line supplying the small nation, an official said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Zelenskyy told world leaders there would be no letup in Ukraine’s campaign to drive Russian troops out of his country.
“We will not allow Russia to wait, build up its forces, and then start a new series of global terror and destabilization,” he said in a video-linked address to a summit of the G20 major economies in Indonesia.

Following the barrage of Russian attacks, Andriy Yermak, the presidential chief of staff, wrote on Twitter: “Russia responds to @Zelenskiy’s powerful speech at #G20 with a new missile attack. Does anyone seriously think that the Kremlin really wants peace? He wants obedience. But at the end of the day, terrorists always lose.”

Tuesday’s attacks came as authorities were already hard at work to retake Kherson and begin investigating alleged Russian abuses there and around it. The city’s remaining 80,000 residents have no heat, water or electricity, and are short of food and medicine.

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The head of the monitoring mission of the UN human rights office in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner, denounced on Tuesday a “terrible humanitarian situation” there.

Speaking from Kyiv, Bogner said his teams are looking to travel to Kherson to try to verify claims of almost 80 cases of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions.

Ukrainian National Police chief Igor Klymenko said authorities will begin investigating reports by Kherson residents that Russian forces set up at least three alleged torture sites in now-liberated parts of the wider Kherson region. and that “our people may have been detained and tortured there.”

Zelenskyy compared the reconquest to the Allied landings in France on D-Day of World War II, saying both were milestones on the road to ultimate victory.

But large parts of eastern and southern Ukraine remain under Russian control, and Zelenskyy warned of potentially darker news ahead.

“Everywhere, when we liberate our land, we see one thing: Russia leaves behind torture chambers and mass burials… How many mass graves are there in the territory that is still under Russian control?” Zelensky asked.

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