Russia launches new wave of missile strikes across Ukraine as capital of Kyiv comes under fire

A new punitive barrage of Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure has caused power outages across large parts of the country, racking up further damage on Ukraine’s already damaged power grid as winter approaches.

Ukraine’s air force said Russia launched about 70 cruise missiles on Wednesday and 51 were shot down, along with five explosive drones.

Several regions reported attacks in quick succession, and Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said, “The vast majority of electricity consumers have been cut off.”

An air raid alert was issued across Ukraine and Ukrainian media reported air defense systems in action in several parts of the country.

Officials in Kyiv said three people were killed and nine injured in the capital after a Russian strike hit a two-storey building.

The entire Kyiv region was without electricity according to Oleksii Kuleba, head of the regional military administration.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Wednesday that “one of the capital’s infrastructures was hit” and that there were “several other explosions in different areas” of the city.

Water and power outages were reported across the country following the airstrikes.

(PA: Efrem Lukatsky)

He said the water supply had been cut across Kyiv.

In other parts of the country, electricity was cut off in the wider Kyiv region, in the northern city of Kharkiv, the western city of Lviv and in all or part of the Chernihiv, Kirovohrad, Odessa and Khmelnytskyi regions.

“(Missiles) Hit any of the capital’s infrastructure. Stay in the shelters! Air alert continues,” Klitschko wrote on Telegram.

Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear operator, Energoatom, said the strikes led to the country’s last three fully operational nuclear power plants being disconnected from the power grid as part of an “emergency protection” measure.

He said they would resume electricity supply as soon as the network was “normalised”.

Energoatom said on its Telegram channel that radiation levels at the sites are unchanged and “all indicators are normal”.

The Energy Ministry said the attacks also caused most thermal and hydroelectric power stations to temporarily shut down, and transmission facilities were also affected.

Electricity workers were working to restore supply, “but given the extent of the damage, we will need time,” he said on Facebook.

Damaged cars seen at the scene of a Russian bombardment on a street in Kyiv.
Authorities have issued air raid warnings across Ukraine. This scene is from Kyiv.(PA: Andrew Kravchenko)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine would rebuild infrastructure damaged in Wednesday’s strikes and hailed the spirit of his people.

“We will renew everything and overcome all of this because we are an unbreakable people,” he said in a brief video address posted on the Telegram messaging app.

Neighboring Moldova has also reported massive power outages across the country following Russian strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

The country’s pro-Western President, Maia Sandu, said in a statement that “Russia has left Moldova in the dark”.

The Russian attacks knocked out power for long periods for up to 10 million Ukrainian consumers at once.

Ukraine’s national electricity grid operator said on Wednesday that more power cuts would be needed across the country.

Newborn child killed in maternity hospital attack

Ukrainian officials said a newborn baby was killed on Wednesday in a Russian missile attack that hit a maternity hospital in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Vilnyansk.

The state emergency department said at the time of the attack, a woman with a newborn baby and a doctor were in a maternity unit in a two-story building that was destroyed.

The doctor and mother were rescued but the baby died, he said on Telegram, under photos of rescuers sifting through the rubble, white smoke rising into the night sky.

Rescuers work at the site of a hospital maternity ward destroyed by a Russian missile attack.
The baby’s mother and a doctor were rescued from the rubble.(Reuters: National Emergency Service of Ukraine)

Video footage released by the state emergency service showed a man who appeared to be a medic being given water as rescuers tried to clear the rubble around him.

“Grief fills our hearts – a baby who just appeared in the world has been killed,” Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region that includes Vilnyansk, wrote on Telegram.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the report independently. Russia did not immediately comment on the incident.

Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential office, condemned the attack in a Telegram message.

Calling the Russian forces that invaded Ukraine in February “terrorists”, he said Russia would be held responsible for “every Ukrainian life”.


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