- Russia carries out new missile strikes in Ukraine
- Two deaths were reported in southeastern Ukraine overnight
- Naftogaz says gas production facilities have been damaged
KYIV (Reuters) – Russia bombed Ukrainian energy facilities and a huge missile booster plant on Thursday, in a fresh wave of missile strikes that Ukrainian officials described as terrorist.
The blasts reverberated though cities including the southern port of Odessa, the capital Kyiv, the central city of Dnipro and the southeastern region of Zaporizhia, where officials said two people were killed.
Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal said the targets of the second wave of heavy missile strikes this week included the massive Pevdenmash defense plant in Dnipro. It gave no details of any damage, but state energy company Naftogaz said gas production facilities in eastern Ukraine had been damaged or destroyed.
President Volodymyr Zelensky released video footage, apparently taken from a car camera, showing a driver’s journey across Dnipro interrupted by a huge explosion ahead that sent flames and black smoke billowing into the sky.
“No matter what the terrorists want, no matter what they try to achieve, we must get through this winter and be stronger in the spring than we are now, and more ready to liberate our entire lands than we are now,” he said.
Local officials said at least 15 people were injured in Dnipro, three in the northeastern city of Kharkiv and at least one in Odessa. Ukrainian officials also reported heavy fighting in parts of eastern Ukraine.
The mayor of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine said the city had no heat. Other areas have already undergone power outages to save energy after damage from Tuesday’s air strikes.
The CEO of Ukraine’s largest private energy provider, DTEK, said that long-term outages could last for several days in some regions.
“Unfortunately, there may be very few hours during which electricity will arrive,” Dmytro Sakhaarchuk was quoted by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency as saying. “It’s two or three hours a day.”
Some Russian missiles were destroyed
Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, has stepped up attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities in recent weeks. Moscow rejects the accusations of terrorism, saying its military actions are aimed at rooting out dangerous nationalists and protecting Russian speakers.
Ukraine says its air defenses have shot down several missiles and drones launched in the past few weeks. Kyiv city officials said four missiles and five Iranian-made drones were destroyed near the city on Thursday.
The latest attacks prompted Ukrainian officials to issue new calls for its international allies to send in more air defense systems. They also said that Ukraine will stand firm.
Andrey Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, wrote on Telegram: “The enemy thinks he will weaken our defense with energy strikes and will be able to stab us in the back. This is a naive tactic by cowardly losers and we are ready for it.” “They will not succeed. We will crush them.”
Additional reporting by Max Honder, Dan Belichuk and Aleksandar Vasovich, Editing by Timothy Heritage
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