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Ukraine rushes to restore power and water after Russian attacks

Ukraine restores power to 6 million people in 24 hours after Russian missile attacks on electrical infrastructure.

Ukraine restored power to nearly 6 million people in the past 24 hours after a Russian missile barrage on Friday damaged critical power infrastructure across the country, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

“Repair work continues relentlessly after yesterday’s terrorist attack,” he said in his late-night video speech on Saturday. “Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done to stabilize the system.”

“There are problems with the heat supplies. There are big problems with the water supply,” Zelenskyy added, saying the capital Kyiv, as well as the cities of Vinnytsia and Lviv further west, were experiencing the greatest difficulties.

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Ukrainian officials said Russia fired more than 70 missiles on Friday in one of its most intense bombardments since the Kremlin invasion on February 24, triggering emergency blackouts across the country.

Russia has rained missiles on the country’s energy infrastructure on an almost weekly basis since early October after several battlefield defeats, but Friday’s attack appeared to do more damage than many others, with snow and ice now widespread.

Ukrainian authorities scrambled to repair and restore vital services a day after the attacks, as residents navigated through fog-bound Kyiv preparing for a Christmas season marked by uncertainty.

Preparing for winter in Ukraine interactive

In Kyiv, heating has been restored to three-quarters of the city and electricity has returned to two-thirds, said mayor Vitali Klitschko.

“But emergency cut-off times are being implemented,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging application. “Because the electricity deficit is important.”

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Klitschko also said that the city’s metro system was back in service and that all residents had been reconnected to the water supply.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed its “high-precision” weapons hit parts of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex, as well as military and energy administrative facilities.

“As a result of the strike, the transportation of foreign-produced arms and ammunition has been thwarted,” he said on Saturday, adding that Ukrainian arms, military equipment and ammunition production plants had been disabled.

five people dead

All over Ukraine on Saturday, air raid sirens sounded. A 36-year-old man died inside his car after Russian forces shelled the southern city of Kherson, the regional governor said.

Yaroslav Yanushevych wrote on his Telegram channel that Russian troops attacked the city’s western district with artillery and multiple rocket launchers, also injuring a 70-year-old woman.

Ukrainian forces liberated the city from Russian occupation on November 11, but authorities say Kremlin forces continue to shell it from positions across the Dnieper River.

The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region said earlier on Saturday that rescue teams had recovered the body of a one-year-old boy from the rubble of a residential building in the town of Kryvyi Rih on Friday morning.

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“It’s hard to write about something like this,” Valentyn Reznichenko said on Telegram.

The death toll from Friday’s Russian attack on Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine rose to four after the boy’s body was found.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the operational headquarters of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine on Saturday.

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Putin has sought proposals from his armed forces commanders on how they think Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine should proceed, the Kremlin said.

In a video released by the Kremlin on Saturday, Putin presided over a gathering of a dozen people at a circular table, flanked by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov. Both men have been heavily criticized by hardline commentators in Russia.

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