Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) – A new barrage of Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure on Wednesday caused power outages in large parts of the country as well as in neighboring Moldova, adding to the damage to Ukraine’s power grid and misery for civilians as winter begins. .
Multiple regions reported attacks in quick succession. In several areas, authorities reported strikes on critical infrastructure. Kyiv officials said three people were killed and nine wounded in the capital, as a result of a Russian air strike on a two-storey building.
Russia was bombing the power grid And other facilities with missiles and exploding drones for weeks. The new strikes have added severe stress to an energy system that is being damaged faster than it can be repaired.
Before the latest attack, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian strikes had already damaged about half of Ukraine’s infrastructure.
Uninterrupted power outages have become the horrific new normal for millions, and the recent barrage has affected the water supply as well. Ukrainian officials believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes the misery of unheated, unlit homes in the cold and darkness of winter will turn public opinion against continuing the war, but they say it has the opposite effect, strengthening Ukrainian resolve.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Wednesday that “one of the capital’s infrastructure facilities was bombed” and “several other explosions occurred in different areas” of the city. He said that the water supply was disrupted throughout Kyiv.
There were power outages in parts of Kyiv, while power was lost in the broader Kyiv region, in the northern city of Kharkiv, the western city of Lviv, the northern Chernihiv region, and in the southern Odessa region. In Moldova, Infrastructure Minister Andrej Spino said “we have massive blackouts all over the country,” as Soviet-era power systems are still interconnected with Ukraine.
There was a similar outage in Moldova on November 15th. “Russia has left Moldova in the dark,” the country’s pro-Western president, Maia Sandu, said in a statement. She said the future of Moldova, a country of about 2.6 million people, “must remain toward the free world”.
Governor Serhi Hamali said on Telegram that electricity was also cut off in most parts of the western Khmelnytskyi region. He added that a nuclear power plant in the region was cut off from the Ukrainian electricity grid.
The latest attack came hours after Ukrainian authorities said a missile attack overnight destroyed a maternity ward at a hospital in southern Ukraine, killing a two-day-old baby. Following the night strike in Vilnyansk, near the city of Zaporizhye, the child’s mother and a doctor were pulled out alive from the rubble.
The district governor said the missiles were Russian. The strike adds to the heavy losses inflicted on hospitals and other medical facilities – and their patients and staff – in the Russian invasion. Which will enter its tenth month this week.
They’ve been in the firing line since the beginning, including with an airstrike on March 9 A maternity hospital in the now occupied port city of Mariupol was destroyed.
First Lady Olena Zelenska wrote on Twitter that a two-day-old baby had died in the strike and expressed her condolences. “Terrible pain. She said, “We will never forget and we will never forgive.”
Pictures published by the governor showed thick smoke billowing over piles of rubble, and emergency workers combing it against the background of a dark night sky. The state emergency service said the two-storey building was destroyed.
Medical personnel’s efforts have been complicated by a succession of Russian attacks in recent weeks on Ukraine’s infrastructure.
The situation is getting worse in the southern city of Kherson, from which Russia withdrew about two weeks ago, after months of occupation – cutting electricity and water.
Many doctors in the city work in the dark, unable to use elevators to ferry patients to surgery and operate with headlamps, cell phones, and flashlights. In some hospitals, key equipment is no longer working.
“The respirators are not working, the x-ray machines are not working… There is only one ultrasound machine and we carry it constantly,” said Volodymyr Malychuk, head of the surgical department at a children’s hospital in the city.
On Tuesday, after strikes in Kherson seriously wounded 13-year-old Artur Vobelikov, a team of health workers carefully maneuvered the sedated boy up six flights of narrow stairs into the operating room to amputate his left arm.
Three children wounded in the Russian strikes have been hospitalized this week, Malychuk said, half the number of children previously admitted in all nine months since the invasion began. Picking up shrapnel that was found in the stomach of a 14-year-old boy, he said the children arrived with severe head injuries and ruptured internal organs.
Artur’s mother, Natalia Voblikova, sat in the darkened hospital with her daughter, waiting for the surgery to finish.
“You can’t even call animals (Russians), because animals take care of themselves,” said Voblikova, wiping tears from her eyes. “But children… why do they kill children?”
The European Parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly supported a resolution labeling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for its invasion of Ukraine and its actions in Ukraine. The non-binding but symbolically important resolution passed by a vote of 494 to 58, with 48 abstentions.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the vote. “Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its longstanding policy of terror in Ukraine and around the world,” he wrote on Twitter.
After Wednesday’s strikes, Zelensky’s top aide Andrei Yermak wrote in a Telegram: “Terrorists immediately confirm that they are terrorists – they launch missiles. Naive losers.”
Mednik reported from Kherson, Ukraine.
Follow AP coverage of the war in Ukraine at: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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