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Fresh missile strikes hit Ukrainian energy infrastructure injuring over dozen

"The attack caused blackouts in the Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions," Grid operator says

By Web Desk
September 22, 2023
Ukrainian police and rescuers stand near car wreckages following a Russian strike in Kostyantynivka, Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region on September 6, 2023, amid the Russia-Ukraine war. — AFP

As many as 18 people including a nine-year-old girl were injured after Russian forces launched their fresh strikes against Ukrainian energy facilities Thursday ahead of winter, in its one of the biggest aerial assaults in weeks, as Kyiv scrambles to repair the already damaged infrastructure of the war-torn areas.

Authorities in Ukraine reported power shutdowns in five regions reviving the memory of last year's attacks amid winter leaving numerous civilians without power in the freezing season.

Officials said that Moscow’s separate overnight shelling also claimed the lives of two people.

Andrii Osadchuk wrote on platform X — formerly called Twitter: "Winter is coming. Tonight [Russia] renews missile attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure."

Grid operator Ukrenergo noted that it was the first Russian attack on power infrastructure in six months, damaging facilities in western and central regions.

"The attack caused blackouts in the Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions," it noted.

Russian Defence Ministry noted in its statement that its forces hit military industry facilities, radio intelligence installations and centres for the training of sabotage groups. It said it struck all its targets.

This picture taken and released by the Ukrainian Emergency Service on September 19, 2023, shows firefighters pushing out a fire in a warehouse after shelling in Kherson. — AFP

After the potent attacks, Ukraine has been repairing the infrastructure that ransacked its energy facilities forcing power cuts.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is currently on his visit to the US amid UNGA 78, and condemned "another massive attack".

Outlining Ukraine's needs before a meeting with US President Joe Biden, he wrote on Telegram: "More air defence. More sanctions. More support for Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines."

Biden was set to announce a new $325 million military aid package for Kyiv, which was expected to include a second tranche of cluster munitions fired by a 155-millimetre howitzer cannon.

Russia had been blocking Ukrainian exports from leaving the country's ports and upped its air strikes since mid-July on port and grain facilities.

Several of these attacks claimed the lives of civilians, although Moscow says it did not target non-combatants deliberately.

Russia said Ukraine has been attacking targets inside Russia as Kyiv presses on with a counteroffensive in the east and south against Russia's 19-month-old special military operation.