About 10 million people in Ukraine were without power following the latest Russian strikes, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a Thursday evening video address.
Russian missiles and shells hit Ukrainian positions in several regions and there was no let up in heavy fighting in Donetsk in the east, a military statement said as Moscow’s occupying forces appeared more active.
A UN agency said a serious humanitarian crisis loomed, with millions facing “constant power cuts” as Ukraine’s typically long, cold winter begins. Zelenskyy added that authorities in some places ordered forced emergency blackouts.
Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was under persistent attack by Russian missiles and drones from the capital Kyiv in the north to Dnipro in central Ukraine and Odesa in the south, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday night.
Ukrainian forces in the past 24 hours had downed two cruise missiles, five air-launched missiles and five Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, it said. The battlefield reports have not been verified.
As the winter’s first snow fell in Kyiv, authorities said they were working to restore power nationwide after Russia earlier this week unleashed what Ukraine said was the heaviest bombardment of civilian infrastructure since Russia launched its full scale invasion in February.
The Donetsk region has experienced the heaviest fighting in Russia’s nine-month-long war on Ukraine. Russian forces have been reinforced by troops pulled from Kherson city in the south which Ukraine recaptured last week. Russian forces fired artillery on the towns of Bakhmut and nearby Soledar, among others, the Ukrainian military said.
It added that Russian fire also hit Balakliya in northeastern Kharkiv region, which Ukraine recaptured in September, and Nikopol, a city on the opposite bank of the Kakhovka reservoir from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said seven people in Zaporizhzhia were killed, while Ukrainian forces had driven back Russian attacks on the town of Huliapole, to the east of the city of Zaporizhzhia.
The reports have not been verified.
The board of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), again called on Russia to end all actions at Ukrainian nuclear power plants and immediately withdraw from Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Meanwhile, a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July aimed at easing global food shortages by helping Ukraine export its agricultural products from Black Sea ports, was extended for four months on Thursday, although Russia said its own demands were yet to be fully addressed.