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Russia pounds Ukraine energy sites in latest 'mass' attack

Russia pounds Ukraine energy sites in latest 'mass' attack

A Russian barrage damaged a Ukrainian power plant and several energy facilities overnight, officials said on Thursday, the latest in a series of strikes that have pushed its grid to the brink.

Publish Date: 20/06/24 13:33
reading time: 5 min.
Russia pounds Ukraine energy sites in latest 'mass' attack
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The targeted missile and drone attacks over recent months have crippled Ukrainian electricity generation capacity and forced Kiev to impose blackouts and import supplies from EU states.

"The enemy attacked a number of energy infrastructure facilities," the energy ministry said, adding that the Russian projectiles targeted energy sites in four regions, including near Kiev.

AFP journalists in the capital heard air raid sirens ringing out over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday.

DTEK, Ukraine's largest private energy company, said the aerial attacks had caused "serious damage" at one of its plants, without disclosing its location.

"This is already the seventh mass attack on the company's thermal power plant in the last three months," the company said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that those barrages have halved generation capacity in the war-battered country compared to one year ago and urged allies to send more air defense systems to protect vital infrastructure.

 'Crisis this winter' 

DTEK's CEO Maxim Timchenko echoed those calls, and said the power plant struck early on Thursday had already been damaged in a previous attack.

"We urgently need to close our skies or Ukraine faces a serious crisis this winter. My plea to allies is to help us defend our energy system and rebuild in time," he said.

There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin on the latest barrage but Moscow insists that its forces do not target civilian infrastructure.

The Russian defense ministry has, however, acknowledged retaliatory attacks on energy sites in response to a wave of Ukrainian cross-border attacks on Russian oil facilities, mainly storage sites.

In the latest Ukrainian attack on Russian territory, the governor of Russia's Krasnodar region, near the annexed Crimean peninsula, announced one woman had been killed in a drone attack targeting oil facilities.

Among the areas struck was the city of Slavyansk-on-Kuban in Krasnodar region, where the woman was killed, governor Venyamin Kondratyev said.

The Russian defense ministry said it had downed 15 Ukrainian drones that also targeted oil storage depots in the southern Adygea republic and in the Tambov region.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine but sources in its security services have claimed responsibility for previous, similar attacks, with the stated aim of hurting Russian oil revenues and emptying its war chest.

  'Critical infrastructure' 

Ukraine's air force said that Russia had launched nine missiles and 27 Iranian-designed attack drones, and that air defense systems had downed all the projectiles except four missiles.

It also confirmed that "critical infrastructure" facilities were targeted, including in the Dnipropetrovsk region, one of the regions in which DTEK operates.

It said air defense systems were also activated in the regions of Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Kherson, Kharkiv and Kiev, among others.

The energy ministry said a total of seven employees at energy facilities had been wounded and that more than 200,000 people had been temporarily cut off in the Vinnytsia region.

"There will be no outages for critical infrastructure companies," it added.

Russia has meanwhile stepped up fatal artillery attacks on embattled frontline regions of Ukraine, in the south and the east of the country.

The governor of the southern Kherson region announced on Thursday morning that one person had been killed and three wounded over the last 24 hours.

In Kharkiv, a northeastern region where Russia recently launched a surprise ground offensive, the governor said one woman had been killed by Russian fire.

And in the eastern Donetsk region, the governor said two people had been killed, including one in the frontline town of Toretsk where Russian forces have gained ground after a long lull in fighting there.

The Ukrainian military said on Thursday Russian forces were trying to dislodge its troops from the nearby villages of Shumy and New York.


Source: HDN


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