Russia launched its biggest attack on Ukraine’s energy facilities in weeks.

  • The attacks are reminiscent of Russian airstrikes last winter.
  • Disruption of power supply in five areas – Grid Operator
  • Kiev says at least 18 people were injured.

KYIV, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Russia launched its biggest missile attack in weeks across Ukraine on Thursday, targeting energy facilities in what officials said was an attack on Ukraine’s power grid. This is the first salvo in the new air campaign.

Power outages were reported in five regions of Ukraine in the west, center and east, bringing back memories of a series of airstrikes on critical infrastructure last winter that caused severe blackouts for millions of Ukrainians during the bitter winter. had to face

At least 18 people were wounded in the airstrikes, including a 9-year-old girl, officials said, and a regional governor said two people were killed in separate Russian shelling overnight.

“Winter is coming. Tonight (Russia) renews missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” lawmaker Andriy Osadchuk wrote on Platform X.

Grid operator Ukrainergo said it was the first Russian attack on electricity infrastructure in six months, and reported damage to installations in western and central regions.

“There was a partial blackout in the regions of Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv,” he said on the Telegram messenger.

Ukraine has been racing to repair infrastructure for months after attacks last winter damaged nearly half of the country’s energy system and forced grid operators to cut power regularly.

This year, Ukraine has improved, Western-supplied air defenses, but still faces a major challenge in defending against attacks in such a large country.

Russia, which sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, has since mid-July focused its airstrikes on port and grain infrastructure, creating a major global grain for export food products. Kiev’s efforts were being hampered.

Many of the attacks have also killed civilians, although Moscow denies targeting civilians.

Russia did not comment on the new airstrikes, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the United States for talks after the United Nations General Assembly, in which he sought to bolster support for Ukraine.

Moscow says Ukraine has been attacking targets inside Russia as Kiev has retaliated, and that Ukrainian drones were destroyed overnight over the adjacent Crimean Peninsula and the Black Sea.

Damage across Ukraine

Ukraine’s Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery Zlozny said Russia fired 43 cruise missiles at targets overnight in several waves, and Ukraine’s air defenses shot down 36 of them.

Witnesses told Reuters that loud explosions rocked Kiev and the surrounding area.

Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said seven people were injured in the capital, including a nine-year-old girl. Debris from the missile landed in the city center and damaged an infrastructure facility and several non-residential buildings, causing a fire, he said.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said a hotel and several shopping kiosks were damaged and seven people were injured in Cherkasy, central Ukraine.

Emergency services posted a video on Telegram showing rescue workers carrying an injured man on a stretcher as the fire raged.

The Interior Ministry and regional authorities reported explosions in Cherkasy, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, Venetsia, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

Lviv regional governor Maxim Kozytskyi said three Russian missiles fell on Drohobach, a city about 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the Polish border. An infrastructure facility and a warehouse were affected, Kozytsky said.

In a separate overnight attack, two people were killed by Russian shelling at a dormitory in the southern city of Kherson, governor Oleksandr Prokodin said.

Ukraine’s SBU security service and navy attacked the Saki air base in Russian-held Crimea overnight, causing “heavy damage,” a Ukrainian intelligence source said.

The Russian military said it had destroyed 19 Ukrainian drones in Crimea and the Black Sea, and three more in other parts of Russia. He did not give any details about any loss of life or property.

Reporting by Olena Hermisch; Written by Tom Balmforth and Timothy Heritage; Edited by Philippa Fletcher

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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