Ukraine rushes to restore power after Russian strikes cause blackouts

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Ukrainian authorities rushed to restore power across the country on Thursday, a day after Russia launched a new missile attack on “critical” infrastructure, resulting in the temporary closure of most of its power plants. and leaving the “vast majority” of people without electricity.

National energy company Ukrenergo said work was “taking longer than after previous attacks” because Wednesday’s attack targeted power generation facilities and caused a “systemic incident”. .

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As of Thursday afternoon, electricity had been restored in “all regions”, but individual households were still being “gradually connected to the grid”, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, an official in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, reported via Telegram.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces said 70 Russian missiles were launched on Wednesday afternoon, of which 51 were shot down, along with five attack drones.

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The action killed at least 10 people, including a teenager, and “led to the temporary de-energization of all nuclear power plants and most thermoelectric and hydroelectric plants”, punctuated the Ministry of Energy. With much of the country without power, there were knock-on effects on heating, water supply and internet access in some areas.

Wednesday was the first time Ukraine’s four nuclear power plants were closed simultaneously in 40 years, the head of state nuclear power company Energoatom noted in a statement.

Petro Kotin said it was a precautionary measure and that he hoped they would be reconnected on Thursday night. The three fully functioning plants in Ukrainian hands would help supply electricity to the national grid, he added. The Zaporizhzhia plant, occupied by Russia, has not operated since September.

Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear power, according to the World Nuclear Association. The country has 15 reactors in four facilities that, before the full-scale invasion in February, generated about half of its electricity.

Russia has turned its attention to destroying Ukraine’s power infrastructure ahead of the bitter winter, and successive waves of attacks have left much of the country facing ongoing blackouts.

Surgeons operate by flashlight

Wednesday’s attack wreaked havoc across the country, leaving the capital Kiev, the western city of Lviv and the entire Odesa region in the dark.

People who took shelter from the air strike in the capital left bunkers and found their homes without power, struggling to find a place to spend the night with friends or family.

One in four homes in the city were still without electricity as of Thursday morning. Although water supplies were restored to all districts by mid-afternoon, it was still not running at full capacity, with tall buildings experiencing low water pressure, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

A video by Reuters news agency showed residents of the capital lining up to collect water from public wells in torrential rain.

Hospitals relied on power from generators or even headlamps worn by staff as they continued to perform operations.

At a Kiev hospital, doctors were performing heart surgery on a child when the power went out. The Doctor. Borys Todurov posted a video on Instagram that showed surgeons working by flashlights as they waited for the generator to kick in.

The director of a hospital in central Dnipropetrovsk, located across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, said “dozens of critically ill patients were on operating tables at Mechnikova Hospital” when the blackout happened.

“Anesthesiologists and surgeons lit flashlights to save each one of them,” wrote Dr. Sergii Ryzhenko on Facebook. He posted a photo of two doctors, who he claimed were Yaroslav Medvedyk and Kseniya Denysova, operating on a 23-year-old man when the electricity went out – “for the first time in 35 years of Yaroslav’s practice”.

European Union promises new sanctions

Zelensky requested an urgent UN Security Council meeting following the attacks, which were swiftly condemned by Ukraine’s allies.

The European Union announced that it would prepare a ninth package of sanctions against Moscow. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it was an attempt to “further reduce Russia’s ability” to continue the war.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia’s attack demanded a response. “Ukraine suffered massive bombing today, leaving much of the country without water or electricity. Attacks against civilian infrastructure are war crimes and cannot go unpunished,” he tweeted late on Wednesday.

Poland said on Wednesday that the Patriot missile defense system that Germany offered Poland should go to Ukraine. “After further missile strikes (from Russia), I turned to (Germany) to have the proposed Patriot batteries (Poland) transferred to (Ukraine) and deployed to the western border,” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said in the statement. Twitter. Germany’s offer to Poland came after a missile hit Polish territory near the Ukrainian border on November 15, killing two people.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Ukraine’s leadership could end the suffering by meeting Russia’s demands.

“The government of Ukraine has every opportunity to bring the situation back to normal, it has every opportunity to resolve the situation in such a way as to fulfill the requirements of the Russian side and, accordingly, stop all possible suffering for the local population,” he said. . Peskov said on a call with reporters.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense sent out a tweet on Thursday marking nine months since the February 24 invasion of Russia.

“Nine months. The amount of time in which a child is born. In nine months of its full-scale invasion, Russia has killed and injured hundreds of our children, kidnapped thousands of them and turned millions of children into refugees,” he said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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