On Thursday, Russian missiles struck cities across Ukraine, damaging power stations and other key infrastructure in freezing temperatures. A number of energy-related facilities have been damaged, and according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Russia is trying to cut off Ukrainians’ access to electricity before the new year. Although most of the missiles were neutralized by the Ukrainian military, much larger damage was avoided due to the neutralization of most of them.
In freezing temperatures, Russia launched missiles to damage power stations & critical infrastructure in Ukrainian cities. The Ukrainian government claims that Russia is trying to cut off Ukrainians’ access to electricity before the new year by targeting energy-related facilities pic.twitter.com/n6h8vH7Qt9
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) December 31, 2022
The Ukrainian military’s top general, General Valery Zaluzhniy, told reporters that 69 missiles were launched, and 54 enemy cruise missiles were shot down. On social media, Ukrainian air defense described the scope of the attack as “massive,” claiming the enemy was attacking Ukraine from various directions using air- and sea-based cruise missiles.
Reuters news agency reported earlier that more than 120 missiles had been fired. Ukraine’s military also claimed it used anti-aircraft missiles and the S-300 ADMS. The Russian military has repeatedly targeted Ukrainian cities with missiles, including strikes that destroyed critical infrastructures, although it denies targeting civilians in these strikes. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, condemned the attacks as barbaric and senseless.
“I can only think of these words when I see Russia launch another missile barrage at a peaceful Ukrainian city in the days preceding the New Year,” he said. Search-and-rescue operations continued in the capital, which left several people injured. Three people have been injured in Kyiv, including a 14-year-old girl. All three are in hospital,” stated Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv. Residents should prepare for possible outages of electricity by stocking up on water and charging their electronic devices.
Cities, including Kharkiv Under Attack
In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, Russian kamikaze drones targeted infrastructure, resulting in multiple explosions. In its report, the Ukraine General Staff described the attack as an attempt by Russian occupation forces to attack the energy infrastructure in Kharkiv, using 13 Iranian Shahed-136 uncrewed aerial vehicles. Ukrainian defense forces shot down a number of these drones.
According to local authorities, the attacks in the Kharkiv area have killed at least two people. The General Staff reported that many drones were shot down near Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia, but Ukrainian forces downed most. Five drones were also shot down around the region of Zaporizhzhia.
Additional strikes were launched against Odesa, a Black Sea port city, and Lviv, an area rarely attacked by the Russians. Both were left without electricity. There were power cuts in the regions of Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk to reduce the possibility of damage to the power infrastructure. The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi, reported that 90 percent of the city’s electricity was out after the attack, which took place near the Polish border.
Several reports have been received that shelling occurred on the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia, which caused damage to electricity lines, gas pipelines, and houses. In the past few months, the Russian military has targeted Ukrainian power and water supplies almost weekly. Still, the ground forces have not been able to hold their ground or make progress.