Russia unleashed a new wave of missile strikes on energy infrastructure across Ukraine on Friday, causing power outages, restricting water supplies and prompting new calls by Kyiv for Western arms.
At least 17 missiles hit the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia in an hour in the heaviest attack since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, local officials said.
🇺🇦 #Russian forces have hit critical infrastructure early morning on Friday with at least 17 missiles striking #Zaporizhzhia.
FRANCE 24's @gullivercragg explains how air defence systems that help to fend off such attacks work ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/zQTROPQbMu
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) February 10, 2023
National grid operator Ukrenergo said after drone and missile strikes on power stations and transmission facilities overnight and during the Friday morning rush hour damaged energy facilities in eastern, southern and western Ukraine.
There was no immediate word of any deaths but Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region in northwestern Ukraine, said seven people had been wounded.
Explosions in #Kharkiv. pic.twitter.com/U0nCnkza5v
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 10, 2023
“Kharkiv is still under enemy missile strikes. Recently one more explosion was heard. We have hits on energy generating infrastructure,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Power system under fire
Russia has carried out repeated waves of attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities in recent months, at times leaving millions of people without light, heating or water supplies during the cold winter.
At least three explosions shook Kyiv and the surrounding region, with officials saying air defense systems were in operation in the capital and in other parts of the country.
I still do not understand the purpose of these rocket attacks. Many rockets were launched. There are some power outages, but we are restoring them quite quickly. And what's next? What is the strategy? Concept? Tactics?
Missile strikes for the sake of missile strikes.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) February 10, 2023
Missile debris damaged a private house, two cars and electricity networks in the Holosiivskiy district of the capital, city authorities said.
Kyiv’s mayor urged residents to remain in shelters as the air alert continued, over three hours after it began.
The mayor of eastern Ukraine’s largest city, Kharkiv, confirmed an infrastructure facility there had been hit and warned of possible power outages as a result. About 150,000 people in Kharkiv were left without electricity, officials said.
Critical infrastructure was also hit in Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine and the Dnipropetrovsk region in the center of the country, regional officials reported.