Ukraine: Russia strikes electrical site near Kyiv, guards seize land
Kyiv, Ukraine –
A missile strike severely damaged a key energy facility in the Ukrainian capital region, the country’s electricity system operator said on Saturday as the Russian military worked to cut off water and electricity in the populated areas.
Kyiv Region Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said the strike did not kill or injure anyone.
Electricity transmission company Ukrenergo said repair crews were working to restore power, but warned residents of possible outages.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the office of the President of Ukraine, urged residents of the Kyiv region and residents of three neighboring regions to reduce their energy consumption during evening rush hours.
After a truck bomb explosion a week ago damaged the bridge that connects Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula, the Kremlin launched what is believed to be its largest coordinated missile attacks since the initial invasion of Ukraine.
Large-scale retaliatory attacks this week hit residential buildings, killing dozens of people, as well as civilian infrastructure such as power plants near Kyiv and other towns far from the frontlines of the war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Moscow saw no need for more massive strikes, but that its military would continue its selective strikes. He said that of 29 targets the Russian military planned to eliminate in attacks this week, seven were undamaged and would be phased out.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, interpreted Putin’s remarks as intended to counter criticism from pro-war Russian bloggers who « widely welcomed renewed strikes on Ukrainian cities but warned that a short campaign would be ineffective. «
« Putin knew he would not be able to sustain high-intensity missile strikes for long due to a dwindling high-precision missile arsenal, » the think tank said.
Regions of southern Ukraine that Putin illegally designated as Russian territory last month remained at the center of the fighting on Saturday.
Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Moscow administration based in the mainly Russian-occupied Kherson region, reminded residents that they could evacuate to Crimea and cities in southwestern Russia as forces Ukrainians are trying to make their way to the regional capital.
After worried Kremlin-backed leaders in the region urged civilians to evacuate on Thursday to ensure their safety and give Russian troops more maneuverability, Moscow offered free accommodation to residents who agreed to leave.
Ukrainian troops attempted to advance south along the banks of the Dnieper but gained ground, according to Stremousov.
« The lines of defense worked and the situation remained under the full control of the Russian military, » he wrote on his messaging app channel.
In nearby Zaporizhzhia, Governor Oleksandr Starukh said the Russian military carried out strikes with Iranian-made suicide drones and S-300 missiles. Some experts have said the Russian military’s use of long-range missiles may reflect a shortage of dedicated precision weapons to hit ground targets.
North and east of Kherson, Russian shelling killed two civilians in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Governor Valentyn Resnichenko said. He said the shelling of the town of Nikopol, located across the Dnieper from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, damaged a dozen residential buildings, several shops and a transportation facility.