Russia launched a barrage of missiles overnight – “A“This targeted ‘critical infrastructure’,” the Ukrainian Air Force said in a statement on Saturday, and Ukrainian officials confirmed that at least six regions were targeted, including the capital, Kyiv.
The Air Force said it shot down 18 of the 33 air- and sea-launched cruise missiles.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging service that “several missiles” targeting the capital were downed on Saturday morning. Similar reports were received from the governors of six provinces in the West and Central, as well as the Southern Odessa region on the Black Sea.
The attack is part of Russia’s latest strategy. Over the past two weeks, Moscow has increased its attacks on key civilian infrastructure across Ukraine, as the country prepares for a cold winter. Officials said about 40% of the country’s electrical power system has been severely damaged. President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier in the week that 30% of Ukraine’s power plants had been destroyed since October 10.
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people in central and western Ukraine woke up to a blackout. The western city of Khmelnytskyi, which lies on the Bug River and was home to about 275,000 people before the war, was left without electricity on Saturday, shortly after local media reported several loud explosions.
The city council urged local residents to stock up on water, “in case they run out also within an hour,” in a social media post on Saturday.
The mayor of Lutsk, a city of 215,000 people located in the far west of Ukraine, made a similar appeal via Telegram on Saturday. He said power in Lutsk was partially disrupted after Russian missiles hit local power facilities.
Local authorities said on Telegram that the central city of Uman, a major pilgrimage center for Hasidic Jews who numbered around 100,000 before the war, was also plunged into darkness after a missile hit a nearby power station.
In the capital and four surrounding regions, including Cherkassy, blackouts came into effect on Saturday morning in response to reduced power supplies. State energy company Uknergo continued to urge all Ukrainians to conserve energy.
Earlier this week, Zelensky called on consumers to limit their energy use between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day, and to avoid using energy-intensive appliances such as electric heaters.
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