Ukraine says ‘vast majority of electricity’ for consumers knocked out after Russian strikes
Russia launched mass strikes on critical infrastructure in Ukraine on Wednesday, knocking out power across much of the country and causing temporary blackouts at power plants, Ukrainian officials said.
Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said the “vast majority of electricity” for consumers in Ukraine was disrupted after the shelling.
Officials also reported a temporary blackout for all nuclear plants and most heating and hydroelectric plants, affecting millions of people.
“There are some emergency outages happening. The lack of electricity can affect the availability of heat and water supply,” the Ministry said in a Facebook update. “The power workers are already working and doing their best to restore power as soon as possible. But [given] the scale of the impact, it will take time.”
Russia has launched missile strikes targeting civilian infrastructure and energy grids in Ukraine since October following heavy losses in the war.
The Energy Ministry said despite the widespread blackouts, “Russia will not succeed in intimidating Ukrainians.”
“Ukrainians are not afraid of the cold. Ukrainians are not afraid of the dark. Ukrainians are not afraid of terrorists,” officials wrote in the Facebook post.
Wednesday’s strikes included 70 missiles, about 51 of which were shot down by anti-air defenses, according to a Telegram post from state grid operator Ukrenergo, which is working quickly to repair the damage.
“Dispatchers and engineers of Ukrenergo are working on reconnecting the attacked regions with backup schemes,” the post reads. “Ukrenergo repair crews are assessing the scale of damage and repairing the damage wherever it is possible.”
Near-total blackouts were reported in the region of Kharkiv in southern Ukraine.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the city was completely without power but was working quickly to restore the power supply.
“Today I appeal to you – no panic! We have experienced more difficult times, and we will survive this,” Terekhov said in a Telegram post.
The region of Kyiv, which includes the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, was almost completely without power on Wednesday. The city of Lviv in western Ukraine also experienced a major blackout.
Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky on Wednesday said he instructed the ambassador to the United Nations to request an emergency meeting with the Security Council following the strikes.
“Murder of civilians, ruining of civilian infrastructure are acts of terror,” Zelensky tweeted. “Ukraine keeps demanding a resolute response of international community to these crimes.”