Power cuts across Ukraine and Moldova as Russian missiles hit war-torn region


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Power cuts across Ukraine and Moldova as Russian missiles hit war-torn region

An aerial view of Kyiv’s horizon after the city plunged into darkness following Russian air raids. AFP

New Delhi: Ukraine’s western city of Lviv is without power after widespread strikes were reported across the country. War-torn Ukraine’s neighbour Moldova also reported “massive” blackouts, although it has not been directly hit.

Kyiv city administration said three people had been killed, and the head of the wider Kyiv region said critical infrastructure and homes had been hit. Russia has recently increased its attacks on Ukrainian energy networks.

More than half of Moldova is currently without electricity, deputy prime minister Andrei Spinu tweeted. “Massive blackout in Moldova after today’s Russian attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” he said.

According to Reuters, within a few hours’ power was restored in the Moldovan capital Chisinau. Earlier, an air-raid alert was sounded across Ukraine, followed by reports of explosions in a number of locations.

Lviv mayor, Andriy Sadovy, said children had been taken to shelters with their teachers while he urged parents not to pick them up until the alarm was over.

Shortly before the fresh reports from Kyiv and Lviv, officials said southern Ukraine had come under renewed assault. The governor of the Mykolaiv region warned of “many rockets” arriving from the south and east.

In Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, a newborn baby was killed when a missile hit a maternity unit, emergency services said. Russia has been blamed for that attack, but is yet to comment on any of Wednesday’s alleged strikes.

Scheduled and unscheduled blackouts have become common in many parts of Ukraine as a result of the recent air raids. Many areas of Ukraine hit by blackouts on Wednesday were close to neighbouring countries, including Lviv, just 80 km (50 miles) from Poland, where a Ukrainian air defence missile killed two people last week.

The towns of Chervonohrad and Yavoriv, also close to the Polish border, suffered power cuts. Moldova also experienced widespread power cuts as a result of strikes on Ukraine on 15 November, Spinu said. Mobile networks were also badly hampered.

In response to the power outages, Moldovan president Maia Sandu said Russia had “left Moldova in the dark”.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine kills people, destroys residential blocks and energy infrastructure with missiles…,” she wrote on Facebook, adding: “But the electricity supply can be restored. We will solve the technical problems and we will have light again. All state institutions are working in this direction.”

On Monday, the Moldovan president said the war in Ukraine was endangering electricity and gas supplies in Moldova. “We are not certain we can find enough… to heat and light our homes,” she said, warning people to brace for a harsh winter.

Russian attacks have damaged almost half of Ukraine’s energy system, and millions of people are without power as temperatures drop for winter.

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