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Ukraine’s Odessa plunged into darkness after power facilities hit

Zelenskyy said more than 1.5 million people in the southern Ukrainian port city had no power.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday that more than 1.5 million people in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa and the surrounding region had no electricity, describing the situation as very difficult.

All non-critical infrastructure in Odessa was left without power after Russia used Iranian-made drones to attack two power facilities, Ukrainian authorities said, adding that it could take months to repair the damage.

“As of now, the city has no electricity,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential administration, said on the Telegram messaging app.

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Only critical infrastructure, including hospitals and maternity wards, had access to electricity.

Russia began attacking Ukraine’s infrastructure when they withdrew after suffering humiliating military defeats.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to keep hitting Ukraine’s power grid despite protests against the attacks that have plunged millions into cold and darkness as temperatures drop.

The regional administration said that people who relied solely on electricity to power their homes should consider leaving.

Authorities said the Russian strikes hit key transmission lines and equipment in the early hours of Saturday.

“According to preliminary forecasts, it will take much longer to restore power facilities in the Odessa region than after previous attacks,” the administration said.

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“We are not talking about days, but even weeks and possibly two or three months,” he said in a Facebook post.

Odessa, Ukraine’s largest port city, had a population of more than 1 million before the Russian invasion on February 24.

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kyiv says Russia has launched hundreds of Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, renamed Geran-2, against targets in Ukraine. kyiv describes the attacks as war crimes due to their devastating effect on the lives of civilians.

In a video address, Zelenskyy said there was a significant shortfall in the amount of power generated.

Ukraine’s armed forces said on Facebook that 15 drones had been launched at targets in the southern regions of Odessa and Mykolaiv, with 10 shot down.

Tehran denies supplying drones to Moscow after the war began in late February.

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Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday it believed Iran’s military support for Russia was likely to increase in the coming months, including possible deliveries of ballistic missiles.

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