New Delhi: Ukraine is grappling with a power crisis after Russia sent a new barrage of missiles to target the country’s energy sources amid the winter season. This caused temporary shutdown of most of its power plants with “vast majority” of people without electricity.
In response to the latest developments, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Ukraine’s leadership can stop the suffering in the nation by agreeing to Russia’s demands.
“The leadership of Ukraine has every opportunity to bring the situation back to normal, has every opportunity to resolve the situation in such a way as to fulfill the requirements of the Russian side and, accordingly, stop all possible suffering of the local population,” Peskov said on Thursday in a call with reporters, as quoted by the CNN.
According to CNN’s report, electricity had been restored to “all regions” by Thursday afternoon. However, households were still “gradually being connected to the grid,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, an official in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, informed on Telegram.
As per the Ukrainian armed forces, Russia launched 70 missiles on Wednesday afternoon of which 51 were shot down. The barrage included five attack drones.
At least 10 people, including a teenage girl, were killed in the attack which also “led to the temporary de-energization of all nuclear power plants, and most thermal and hydroelectric power plants,” the Ministry of Energy stated, as quoted by the CNN.
Much of Ukraine was left without power as well as heating, water supply and internet access in some areas amid the winter season. A video by the news agency Reuters showed people in the capital city of Kyiv queuing to collect water from public wells in the pouring rain.
It was the first time when Ukraine’s four nuclear power plants were simultaneously shut down in 40 years, the head of state nuclear energy company Energoatom informed in a statement.
As per the World Nuclear Association, Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy and has 15 reactors at four plants that, before Russia’s full-scale invasion in February, generated about half of the country’s electricity.
Adopting a new strategy, Russia targetted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure as the bitter winter season commences.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday addressed the United Nations Security Council, accusing Moscow of “crimes against humanity” after the Russian military’s new missile strikes caused blackouts across Ukraine.
The Russian “formula of terror” had forced “millions of people to stay without energy supplies, without heating, without water” in sub-zero cold, he stressed, as quoted by the BBC.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko informed that at least 80% of the capital’s residents had no power or running water.
As per CNN, hospitals relied on generator power or even head torches worn by staff to continue with operations.
In a Kyiv hospital, doctors performed heart surgery on a child with surgeons working by the light of their headlamps as they waited for the generator to kick in, a video posted by Dr. Borys Todurov showed.
Notably, it has been nine months since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
“Nine months. The amount of time in which a child is born. In nine months of its full-scale invasion, Russia has killed and injured hundreds of our children, kidnapped thousands of them, and made millions of children refugees,” Ukraine’s Defence Ministry wrote on Twitter.
The amount of time in which a child is born.
In Nine months of its full-scale invasion, russia has killed and injured hundreds of our children, kidnapped thousands of them, and made millions of children refugees.
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) November 24, 2022
Meanwhile, The European Union has announced that it would prepare the ninth package of sanctions against Moscow. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it an attempt “to blunt even further its capacity to wage war on Ukraine”, CNN reported.