Ukraine struggles to restore electricity after heavy Russian bombardment | War in Ukraine

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Ukraine strives to restore electricity after heavy Russian bombardment | War in Ukraine

Aid to the population is organized, as in this refuge in Vyshhorod, north of kyiv. (Archives)

Ukraine was working on Saturday to restore electricity after new Russian missile strikes caused power cuts across the country, denounced as war crimes by the European Union (EU).

European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has condemned this new example of the Kremlin's blind terror, cruel and inhumane attacks against the population which constitute war crimes .

The EU has also approved new sanctions targeting Moscow which notably prohibit the export of drone engines to Russia or third countries able to supply them.

For its part, France condemned the Russian bombardments on Friday. These acts constitute war crimes and in no way weaken France's determination to support Ukraine and fight impunity, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

A total of 74 missiles — mostly cruise missiles — were fired by Russia on Friday, 60 of which were shot down by air defense, according to the Ukrainian military.

The bombings targeted critical infrastructure throughout Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said kyiv and 14 regions were affected by power or water cuts. He called for increasing Western pressure on the Kremlin and delivering more air defense systems to Ukraine.

Across the country, interventions are under way. course to restore electricity.

Our engineers and repair crews have already started work during the air raid and are doing everything possible to restore power generation and supply. This takes time. But it will be done, said the Ukrainian president.

In Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitchko said that only a third of the inhabitants had water and heating, and 40% of electricity.

Three people died following a Russian strike that hit a residential building in Kryvyi Rig (south), according to the regional governor.

For their part, pro-Russian authorities in the eastern Lugansk region accused Ukrainian forces of artillery fire on two localities, killing 11 and wounding 17 on Friday.

Faced with a series of military setbacks this fall, Russia has opted since October for a tactic of massive strikes aimed at destroying Ukraine's power grids and transformers, plunging millions of civilians into cold and cold. darkness in the middle of winter.

With this new wave of Russian bombardments on Friday, it may take longer than before to restore electricity, warned on Facebook the national electricity operator Ukrenergo, which clarified that electricity [would] be supplied in priority to essential infrastructures: hospitals, water services, heating installations, water treatment plants worn.

In the capital, bundled up in their coats, sitting on the ground or on the steps of the escalators, some residents spent several hours sheltered in the metro.

Civilians take shelter in a metro station during an air raid in central kyiv on December 16, 2022.

This morning I woke up, I saw a missile in the sky, and I wasn't surprised. I saw it and knew I had to go on the metro, said Lada Korovaï, a 25-year-old actress.

In Kharkiv (north- east), the second largest city in the country, the authorities announced in the evening that they had restored power to 55%. According to regional governor Oleg Sinegoubov, 85% of the region's inhabitants had access to electricity on Friday evening.

In the city of Bakhmout, which Moscow is tirelessly trying to conquer, a semi-trailer truck came to deliver some 200 wood-burning stoves, which were then distributed to residents by volunteers, AFP noted.

Oleksandra, 85, came to get medicine.

I will survive the winter, I will walk more to keep warm, I heard talk about a heating point but I think it's not something well organized, she told AFP.

Nearby, in Kramatorsk, the power was cut at the end of the afternoon and the population no longer had access to the telephone network, AFP noted.< /p>

Russian and Belarusian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko are due to meet in Minsk on Monday for a summit to further strengthen their alliance.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko (left) will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (right), the next week. (Archives)

Belarus, Russia's only ally in this war, lent its territory to allow the Russian assault on kyiv at the start of the invasion on February 24.

According to Lukashenko, the summit will be primarily [dedicated] to the economic sphere, but the two leaders will also discuss the political-military situation around [their] countries.

In an interview published on Thursday, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army Valery Zaluzhny said he was convinced that Russia would attempt a new attack on kyiv in the first months of 2023.

For his part, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that Moscow was preparing for a long war against Ukraine to which the Alliance's allies must continue to provide weapons until Mr. Putin realizes he cannot win on the battlefield.

We must not underestimate Russia. She is preparing for a long war, Mr. Stoltenberg said. We see that she is mobilizing more forces, that she is ready to take a lot of casualties as well, that she is trying to get access to more weapons and ammunition.< /p>

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