A barrage of Russian missiles has forced the shut-down of six nuclear power plants at a time when the Ukrainian power infrastructure has already sustained significant damage, threatening Ukrainians with blackouts and a cold winter.
Russia ramped up attacks on Wednesday, targeting and destroying critical facilities, including energy infrastructure that has led to Ukraine’s worst power outages so far.
As of Thursday morning, over 65% of the capital city Kyiv remained without power, according to Reuters.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked the UN Security Council to take action against Russia to stop the strikes.
“Today is just one day but we have received 70 missiles. That’s the Russian formula of terror,” Zelenskiy told the council meeting in New York via video link, as reported by RFE/RL, adding that Ukraine is waiting to see “a very firm reaction” from the world.
The Russian ambassador to the UN claimed that Ukraine’s own air-defense missiles, supplied by the West, had crashed into critical infrastructure.
One of the nuclear plants that sustained damage from the new barrage of strikes was the notorious Zaporizhie NPP, the largest in Europe, which Russia occupied in the early days of what Moscow calls a special military operation.
Ukraine claimed the Russians were shelling the plant, which they held, and the Russians responded with counter-accusations of shelling, which eventually led to a visit to the plant by officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Shelling of this plant had subsided until before resuming this week and forcing it into full blackout mode.
The Russian ramp-up of air strikes on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure comes after Moscow was forced to withdraw from Kherson city, the only provincial capital it had managed to occupy and hold since it launched its invasion in late February.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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