kyiv, Ukraine (HPD) — A flurry of Russian strikes hit critical infrastructure in kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities Monday morning, cutting off water and electricity services in apparent retaliation for what Moscow described as a Ukrainian attack. against his Black Sea fleet over the weekend.
The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces had carried out “high-precision air and sea weapons strikes against Ukraine’s military command and energy systems.”
“The objectives of the attacks were achieved. All designated targets were beaten,” the Ministry added in a statement.
The Ukrainian air force said it had shot down 44 of the more than 50 cruise missiles launched by Russia.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Russian drones and missiles hit 10 Ukrainian regions and damaged 18 targets, most of them energy facilities.
Hundreds of towns in seven Ukrainian regions were left without power, he explained in a Facebook post, noting that “the consequences would have been much worse” if Ukrainian forces had not shot down most of the Russian missiles.
Loud explosions rang out in the Ukrainian capital as people prepared to go to work. Some received text messages from emergency services about the threat of a missile attack, and air-raid sirens wailed for three hours straight.
80% of the population in the city of 3 million inhabitants was left without running water due to damage to an electrical installation, said the mayor, Vitali Klitschko.
Authorities were working to repair the power facility, Klitschko said. In the meantime, he asked the residents of kyiv to “stockpile water from the nearest pumps and points of sale.”
The head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, promised that the attacks on civilian facilities would not weaken the Ukrainian resistance.
“We will persevere, and generations of Russians will pay a heavy price for their misfortune,” Yermak said.
The attacks came just before Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and several members of his government, including the foreign, defense and interior ministers, arrived in kyiv in a new show of European leaders’ support for Ukraine.
From the left bank of the Dnieper River, in kyiv, a column of smoke was rising, either caused by a missile attack or by the fall of a projectile shot down by Ukrainian forces.
A local resident said he had heard four loud explosions.
“At first I thought I heard a plane go by, but then I realized it was a missile,” said Serhii, who declined to give his full name. “The explosions were very loud! I consider myself experienced and prepared for attacks like this. But it was too close and high. I was scared, I was very scared.”
There were emergency power outages in the kyiv, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions, Prime Minister Shmyhal said. “Today, as in previous weeks, it is important for Ukrainians to consume energy wisely and reduce the load on the grid,” he said.
kyiv region governor Oleksii Kuleba said one person was injured and several houses damaged in the morning attacks. “The Kremlin takes revenge for its military defeats on peaceful people who are left without electricity and heating before winter,” Kuleba said.
Two attacks in Kharkiv hit critical facilities, according to authorities, and the metro was disrupted. Authorities warned of possible power outages in the city of Zaporizhia due to the attacks.
There were also attacks on the western region of Lviv, although those missiles were shot down, Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said.
The shells hit critical infrastructure in the Cherkasy region, southeast of kyiv. In the Kirovohrad region of central Ukraine, a power facility was hit. In Vinnytsia, an intercepted missile hit civilian buildings, causing damage but no casualties, according to regional governor Serhii Borzov.
Some sections of track were disconnected, according to the state network Ukrainian Railways.
Russia two days ago accused Ukraine of a drone attack on the Russian fleet in the Black Sea near the annexed Crimean peninsula. Ukraine has denied the attack and claims it was a Russian error in handling its own weapons, but Moscow nonetheless announced it would abandon the UN-Turkish mediated deal to allow safe passage for ships carrying grain from Ukraine. .
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that his country was determined to go ahead with the grain deal, which has seen more than 9 million tons of grain exported from Ukraine.
It is the second time this month that Russia has launched a massive round of attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure. On October 10, a similar offensive hit the country after an explosion on the Kerch Bridge connecting annexed Crimea with mainland Russia, an event Moscow blamed on kyiv.