Huge Swathes Of Ukraine Without Power & Water After New Russian Strikes

Ukraine's energy operator Energoatom has announced Wednesday emergency power shutdowns in effect across all regions of the country amid a new large wave of Russian airstrikes. Sirens have been sounding throughout the day across the country. 

President Volodymyr Zelensky in follow-up estimated that 10 million Ukrainians now lack access to electricity due to the attacks. "There are emergency shutdowns in addition to planned, stabilization ones," he explained. "The elimination of the consequences of another missile attack against Ukraine continues all day."

Huge Swathes Of Ukraine Without Power & Water After New Russian Strikes
Prior file image, Ukrainian Presidential Press Service via Reuters

Casualties have been reported in the eastern cities of Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia, and at least one person has been reported killed in Kiev. Speaking of the renewed attacks on the capital, Mykhailo Podolyak, head of the Office of the Ukrainian President’s office said, "A new massive attack on infrastructure facilities is underway."

He described, citing recent anti-air defense systems acquired from Western countries, "While someone is waiting for World Cup results and the number of goals scored, Ukrainians are waiting for another score – number of intercepted Russian missiles. A new massive attack on infrastructure facilities is underway. In NASAMS, IRIS-T and Air Defense Forces we trust."

Kiev's mayor, Vitali Klitschko, issued an emergency message on social media warning that ongoing Russian strikes are "Hitting one of the capital’s infrastructure facilities. Stay in shelters! The air alert continues." Also alarming is that the mayor in a follow-up message said that water services have been suspended in Kiev after the major strikes.

While it's not the first time that some war-hit parts of Ukraine have been left without electricity and water, the country is now in an extremely dire and urgent phase, having already seen an estimated half its national power infrastructure degraded or destroyed. Temperatures are quickly dropping, with the capital having witnessed its first snow earlier this month.

Nuclear power generation is also being severely impacted

Several units were shut down at the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine due to a loss of power during Russian air raids across Ukraine, Ukraine’s nuclear energy firm Energoatom said.

An Energoatom spokesperson said, "Everything is fine with the station. There is nowhere to generate electricity."

Authorities have vowed to set up what they are calling "invincibility centers" which provide electricity, heat, and water for outage impacted areas. Zelensky said Tuesday night these would be made available around the clock as Ukraine endures the crisis. Rolling blackouts in some regions of Ukraine have been occurring for months already.

Meanwhile Zelensky has renewed his calls for Western backers to "close the sky".. "We repeat to our partners again and again that only full protection of the Ukrainian sky will protect both Ukraine and Europe from many possible escalations of Russian aggression and will definitely encourage Russia to truly end the war." His government has consistently lobbied Washington and NATO for more anti-air defense systems. This has Russia has expressly said it aims to degrade the national energy infrastructure. 

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