Ukrainians line up for water as Russia attacks targeted infrastructure
Russian attacks have left many in the Ukrainian capital without electricity and water. President Zelensky said they shot down most of the 55 Russian missiles.
Cody Godwin, Associated Press
While heavy fighting in Ukraine is concentrated in the east and south, the capital of Kyiv in the north-central region and its surrounding areas are under a different kind of attack – one that relies on suffering and disruption as weapons.
Under pressure from Russian attacks that destroyed 40 percent of the country’s energy infrastructure, the Ukrainian electricity operator announced blackouts in Kyiv and six other nearby regions, including Kharkiv. Unplanned emergency interruptions are also expected.
“We are doing everything to avoid this,” Mayor Vitalij Klitschko told state media. “But let’s be honest, our enemies are doing everything for the city to be without heat, without electricity, without water supply, in general, so we will all die. And the future of the country and the future of each of us depends on how we are prepared for different situations.”
Power outages caused by Russian drone and rocket attacks have affected 16 provinces and forced authorities in Kyiv to consider mass evacuations. They plan to set up about 1,000 heating shelters, but noted that may not be enough for the city’s 3 million residents. Average temperatures in Kyiv in the winter range from the low 20s to the 30s.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in a video address on Sunday that some 4.5 million people had lost power, telling the nation: “We must get through this winter and be even stronger in the spring than now.”
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►The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was reconnected to Ukraine’s power grid on Sunday, three days after fighting in the region knocked it offline, forcing the use of emergency diesel generators to keep vital cooling systems running.
►Russian authorities continue to evacuate the occupied southern city of Kherson, sending out warning phone messages on Sunday telling residents to leave for the east coast in anticipation of a major battle with the Ukrainian army. Russian troops, although less visible, “have dug in there quite powerfully,” said Natalya Humenyuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern forces.
►The remaining 15,000 residents in the eastern city of Bakhmut have been living for months under constant shelling that has intensified in recent weeks, leaving them without water and electricity, local media reported.
Iran has backed away from its denials that it has supplied drones to Russia, casting doubt on other statements qualifying the receipt.
“We gave a limited number of drones to Russia a few months before the war in Ukraine,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdolakhian told reporters in Tehran on Saturday.
Amirabdolakhian added that Iran has no knowledge of Russia attacking Ukraine with drones, adding: “If it is proven to us that Russia used Iranian drones in the war against Ukraine, we will not be indifferent to this issue.”
That’s in the eyes of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which vaguely boasts of providing drones to the world’s top powers.
Since last month, Russia has been engaged in a campaign to destroy Ukrainian power plants and other civilian targets, relying on explosive drones that can cost as little as $20,000 each, or 50 times less than a cruise missile. Russia has rebranded the drones, but there is evidence that they are “Shahedi” from Iran.
Both Russia and Iran, which insist they remain neutral in the war, have denied any drone shipments. The United States and its Western allies at the UN Security Council have called on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to investigate whether Russia used Iranian drones to attack civilians in Ukraine.
“The whole world will know that the Iranian regime is helping Russia to continue this war,” Zelensky said on Sunday.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who has warned the Kremlin that using nuclear weapons in Ukraine would result in “catastrophic consequences” for Russia, has held confidential talks with President Vladimir Putin’s top aides in an effort to prevent the war from escalating or expanding, he said. Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
The goal of the talks in recent months was not to negotiate a peace deal, but to keep lines of communication open and reduce the risk of using unconventional weapons in the war, the paper said, citing US and allied officials.
Sullivan visited Kyiv on Friday and expressed “unwavering and unwavering” US support for Ukraine even after Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Russia may change the commanders of all its military districts before the end of the year.
The last to be cast aside was Lieutenant General Alexander Lapin, who appears to have been replaced at the head of the Central Military District by Major General Alexander Linkov. according to the British Ministry of Defence.
The ministry indicated that the commanders of Russia’s eastern, southern and western military districts have already been replaced since the invasion of Ukraine began in February.
“These firings represent a pattern of blaming senior Russian military commanders for the failure to achieve Russian objectives on the battlefield,” the ministry said. “This is in part likely an attempt to isolate and deflect blame from Russian senior leadership at home.” ‘
Contributed by The Associated Press