Russian hits batter grid as first snow hits Ukraine

Russian hits batter grid as first snow hits Ukraine


Fresh Russian strikes hit cities across Ukraine on Thursday, officials said, the latest in a spate of attacks that have crippled the country’s energy infrastructure as winter set in and temperatures dropped.

AFP journalists in several Ukrainian cities said the new barrage came as snow fell for the first time this season and after officials in Kyiv warned of “difficult” days with an approaching cold spell.

The salvos of Russian missiles came this week as officials on Thursday announced good news about the extension of the deal allowing Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea, which aims to support the world’s food supply.

But the new strikes have swept Ukraine and come on the back of another stark battlefield setback for Russian forces, which have withdrawn from the southern city of Kherson.

“Two cruise missiles were shot down over Kyiv. Information about casualties and damage is being clarified,” announced the Kyiv regional administration, adding that Russian forces also used Iranian-made drones.

The head of the central region of Dnipropetrovsk Valentyn Reznichenko said Russian strikes hit the administrative center of Dnipro.

“An industrial company was hit. There’s a big fire,” he said, later announcing that 14 people were injured, including a 15-year-old girl.

In the southern Odessa region, a Russian attack also targeted infrastructure, and the governor warned residents of the danger of a “massive” missile attack on the Black Sea territory.

“I ask the residents of the region to stay in shelters,” Maksym Marchenko said.

The eastern Kharkiv region was also hit, Governor Oleg Synegubov announced, adding that Russia had hit “critical infrastructure” in strikes, in which three people were injured.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released amateur footage of what he said showed a Russian attack on Dnipro, called Moscow a “terrorist state” and said Moscow “wants only to bring more pain and suffering to Ukrainians”.

– ‘Difficult situation’ –

The largest wave of Russian missiles aimed at cities across Ukraine earlier this week cut power to seven million homes, but supplies to people were largely restored within hours.

However, Ukrainian energy company Ukrenergo said that “a cold snap” has led to increased demand in regions where power has recently been restored.

“This has further complicated the already difficult situation with the energy system,” the company said.

Ukraine recently celebrated the retaking of Kherson, followed by an announcement by Russian proxies in the nearby town of Nova Kakhovka that they would be withdrawing administration officials while Kiev’s forces rushed down.

Kyiv also slammed Russia a day after Western leaders said a missile blast in Poland was likely an accident involving Ukrainian air defenses.

The missile killed two people on Tuesday when it struck the village of Przevodow near the Ukrainian border, shocking NATO member Poland.

However, after a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba seemed to be retracting Kiev’s firm position that it was a Russian missile that hit Poland.

“We share the view that Russia bears full responsibility for its missile terror and its consequences on the territory of Ukraine, Poland and Moldova,” Kuleba said on Twitter.

Russia said images from the impact site showed a missile fired from Kyiv and said its attacks hit sites 35 kilometers (20 miles) from the Polish border.

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