Ukraine: Aftermath of missile strike on residential building in Kyiv
Shocking photographs have underscored the harsh reality of life in Kyiv in the shadow of Russian bombs, with more than two-thirds percent of the Ukrainian capital currently without power. Exactly nine months after President Vladimir Putin ordered the troops in, Russia has been ruthlessly targeting Ukraine’s power infrastructure with Iranian-supplied drones and missiles after a string of battlefield setbacks, notably a chaotic withdrawal from the strategically important southern city of Kherson.
Kyiv: A man sits on a bench in the midst of the rubble
Kateryna and daughter Nastya stand next to damaged residential buildings on the outskirts of Kyiv
Further attacks yesterday caused power outages across large parts of the country, further compromising Ukraine’s already battered power network and adding to the misery for civilians as they brace for winter temperatures which can average -27F (-33C).
The strikes also caused power outages in neighbouring Moldova.
In one picture, a fireman is seen in the shadow of the devastation caused by the shelling of a residential building in the city of Vyshhorod in the Kyiv region, while in another, a bewildered looking man sits on a park bench surrounded by rubble.
Another picture shows emergency service workers around a coal stove they have set up for the winter in Bakhmut in the east of the country.
A fourth shows shellshocked mother Kateryna and her daughter Nastya close to a damaged tower block, while in a fifth, mourners are shown at the funeral of Ukrainian serviceman and ballet dancer Vadym Khlupianets at the National Academic Operetta’s Theatre in Kyiv.
In a statement shared via the Telegram messaging app, Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv’s mayor and a former world heavyweight boxing champion, said roughly 70 percent of the city was currently without power.
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He wrote: Energy companies are making every effort to return it as soon as possible.
“However, they note that this will depend on the restoration of the balance in the energy system of Ukraine. Since Kyiv is part of the national energy system.”
Mr Klitschko added: “Water supply has been restored in all districts of the capital. But it will take some time for the water supply system to work at full capacity.
“Currently, some consumers may still experience low water pressure in the system. Especially for those residents of Kyiv who live on the upper floors of high-rise buildings.”
Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun struck a defiant tone on Twitter, declaring: “The Russians hit #Ukraine with hundreds of missiles, leaving the Ukrainians without electricity, heat, water, and network, in order to force the Ukrainians to negotiate with the Russians about “peace”.
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Ukraine: A fireman at the scene after homes were hit by Russian airstrikes
“But guess if we are more motivated to negotiate after spending 20 hours without electricity, water and internet? No! We now want to win even more!”
Lesia Vasylenko, another Ukrainian MP, posted: “Seeing people cook dinner on gas burner stoves in their balconies in minus temperatures is true resilience.
“We will always say ‘without you’ to #Russia, even in such harsh circumstances.”
Ukraine’s General Staff this morning reported on Thursday morning that Russian forces fired 67 cruise missiles and 10 drones during yesterday’s “massive attack on residential buildings and energy infrastructure” in Kyiv and several other regions in Ukraine.
Efforts to restore power, heating and water supplies disrupted by the Wednesday attacks were underway elsewhere in Ukraine as well.
An emergency service worker cleans a coal stove they have installed the winter in Bakhmut
Ukraine’s energy minister Herman Haluschenko said three out of four nuclear power stations which are fully functioning and which had been forced offline by Wednesday’s strikes were subsequently reconnected to the grid.
Governor of the Poltava region Dmytro Lunin said “an optimistic scenario” suggested that electricity will come back to residents of his central Ukrainian region on Thursday.
Also posting on Telegram, he said: “In the next few hours, we will start supplying energy to critical infrastructure, and then to the majority of household consumers.”
Power has already been restored for 15,500 people and 1,500 legal entities in the region, Mr Lunin stressed.
Water supplies resumed in several parts of the city of Poltava, and four boiler stations have started to heat regional hospitals, Mr Lunin added.
The funeral ceremony for late Ukrainian serviceman and ballet dancer Vadym Khlupianets
The Kirovohrad and the Vinnytsia regions were reconnected to the power grid early this morning, adding to more than a dozen other regions that were reconnected on Wednesday night, according to Deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko.
In the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk region, power has been restored for up to 50 percent of consumers, Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said, but warned: “The situation with energy is complicated.”
As Russia continues to assail Ukraine’s power network, Ukrainian authorities started opening what they refer to as “points of invincibility” – heated and powered spaces where people could go for hot meals, electricity to recharge their devices and to connect to the internet.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said on Thursday morning a total of 3,720 such spaces have been opened across the country.
According to the initiative’s website, various venues have been converted to such points including government buildings, schools and kindergartens and emergency services offices.