Tue | Nov 28, 2023

Ukraine’s power, water supplies under Russian attack again

Published:Tuesday | October 18, 2022 | 2:58 PM
Emergency workers load debris from a warplane on a truck at the scene of a plane crash in a residential area in Yeysk, Russia, Tuesday, October 18, 2022. The death toll from the crash of a Russian warplane into a Russian city has risen to 15. That includes three people who died when they jumped from a nine-story apartment building to escape a massive blaze. (AP Photo)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Airstrikes cut power and water supplies to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians on Tuesday, part of what the country's president called an expanding Russian campaign to drive the nation into the cold and dark and make peace talks impossible.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said nearly one-third of Ukraine's power stations have been destroyed in the past week, “causing massive blackouts across the country.”

“No space left for negotiations with Putin's regime,” he tweeted.

Depriving people of water, electricity and heat as winter begins to bite and the broadening use of so-called suicide drones that nosedive into targets have opened a new phase in Russian President Vladimir Putin's war.

The bombardments appear aimed at wearing down the notable resilience Ukrainians have shown in the nearly eight months since Moscow invaded.

Even far from the front lines, basic utilities are no longer certainties, with daily strikes reaching far into the country and damaging key facilities, sometimes faster than they can be repaired.

The latest city shorn of power was Zhytomyr, home to military bases, industries and leafy boulevards, about 140 kilometres (85 miles) west of Kyiv.

The mayor said the whole city of 250,000 lost power and also water initially. Repairs quickly reconnected some homes but 150,000 people were still without electricity hours after the morning strike, regional authorities said.

City hospitals switched to backup power after the double missile strike Tuesday on an energy facility, said Mayor Serhiy Sukhomlyn.

In the capital of Kyiv, missile strikes damaged two power facilities and killed two people, city authorities said. The attack left 50,000 people without power for a few hours, the facilities' operator said.

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