'Unprecedented' power cuts in Ukraine
Customers at a grocery store in Kharkiv shop in the dark due to power outages caused by Russian bombing.
Ukraine announced “unprecedented” power cuts in the Kyiv region on Friday, as Ukrainian energy facilities were heavily damaged by numerous Russian strikes in recent weeks.
Russia has announced that it has mobilized 300,000 reservists in more than a month, 41,000 of which are already deployed in Ukraine, a sign of Vladimir Putin's desire to quickly reverse the trend after a series of setback.
Unfortunately, more serious and longer cuts will take place in the coming days, Ukrainian operator DTEK announced on Facebook on Friday.
Quoted by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, the director general of DTEK, Dmytro Sakharouk, specified that these restrictions would last five or six hours, against four previously planned.
Following the recent Russian attacks on electricity infrastructure, the Ukrainian authorities had already had to impose daily power cuts of a few hours in many regions, particularly in the capital kyiv, to avoid major blackouts.
AFP was able to visit a Ukrainian power station hit by the Russians on Thursday, where two employees in particular were busy fixing a cable to a large pylon.
This is the first time that we have had to deal with such damage, said Pavlo, an employee of this plant.
“The renovations have been underway for over two weeks. We don't know how long this will take.
— An employee of a power plant in Ukraine
According to him, the plant was targeted twice by missiles and a third time by a suicide drone from Iranian manufacturing.
On Friday, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, asked his Iranian counterpart to immediately stop supplying arms to Moscow, in the first telephone conversation between these two officials since kyiv accused Russia of striking weapons. Ukrainian cities using these Shahed 136 drones.
Tens of thousands of Russians of fighting age have been called up by Moscow to serve on the battlefields of Ukraine.
In Russia, the task of recruiting 300,000 people has been accomplished, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Mr Putin during an exchange broadcast on television .
According to the minister, 218,000 reservists are in training at Russian military bases, 41,000 are deployed in military units fighting in Ukraine and 41,000 others are still in training, but already in the conflict zone.
For Vladimir Poutine, who greeted in front of his minister the patriotism of the soldiers mobilized since September 21, the arrival of these men, who were still civilians a few weeks ago, must make it possible to consolidate the Russian lines vis-a-vis the #x27;Ukrainian Army, which has made significant territorial gains in eastern and southern Ukraine over the past two months.
kyiv troops are also preparing to fight a fierce battle to retake the city of Kherson and the surrounding districts (south). Moscow claimed to have evacuated all civilians wishing to leave for Russia or areas under Russian control, although the occupation authorities contradicted each other on whether departures were still taking place on Friday at the end of the day or no.
On Wednesday, the head of the administration set up by the Russians in Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, for his part claimed that at least 70,000 people had left their homes in less than a week. /p>
Illustrating the intensity of the fighting near Kherson, the leader of the Russian Republic of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, whose forces are fighting in Ukraine, announced the death of 23 of his soldiers in a Ukrainian bombardment that also injured 58.
The leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov (archives)
Mr. Kadyrov is a hard-liner against kyiv, having called for nuclear strikes and claiming his troops there were waging a holy war against Satanists.
Elsewhere on the frontline, Ukrainian authorities reported Russian shelling that damaged two apartment buildings and a bakery in southern Mykolaiv and injured one person.
In Kyiv, a few dozen Iranians rallied on Friday to show solidarity with the Ukrainians and against the Russians' use of Iranian-made drones to strike Ukraine, a journalist from the country said. #x27;AFP.
The country where we were born and the current ruling regime [in Iran] are sending drones to kill us and our friends [in Ukraine]. It's very painful, lamented Maziar Mian, a 34-year-old Iranian architect.
To deal with the Russian air attacks, the mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitchko, made to know on Friday that the army had deployed new anti-aircraft defense equipment to better protect the essential infrastructure of the capital.
Russia has for its part accused for several days the x27;Ukraine to prepare the explosion of a dirty bomb, that is, one containing radioactive elements, allegations that kyiv and the West have described as absurd and a pretext to an escalation on the part of Moscow.
Speaking during a political forum on Thursday, Vladimir Putin had called for sending a mission of the x27;International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Ukraine. The Agency intends to carry out an independent on-site verification this week.