Ukraine battles to restore power after Russian missile attack

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Ukraine battles to restore power after Russian missile attack

Electricity slowly began to be restored to Kyiv and several other Ukrainian cities Thursday, a day after Russian missiles pounded Ukrainian energy facilities — sparking serious fears of a “nuclear and radioactive catastrophe.”

Ukraine faced the worst power outages since the start of the war Wednesday, after Russia launched 70 missiles to rain down on its neighbor.

The brutal barrage caused its nuclear power plants to disconnect from the power grid for the first time in 40 years and killed at least 10 people.

Three nuclear power stations were also switched off Wednesday as a result, though they were expected to be back online Thursday evening.

With its latest bombardment, Russia nearly caused a “nuclear and radioactive catastrophe,” in the war-torn country, officials said.

“Russia must answer for this shameful crime,” said Petro Kotin, the head of nuclear power company Energoatom.

Odessa in the dark
The city of Odessa was left without power following the missile strikes.
AFP via Getty Images
A Ukrainian resident collecting water from drainpipes amid mass outages
Some Kyiv residents resorted to collecting rainwater from drainpipes.
AP

“There is a real danger of a nuclear and radiation catastrophe being caused by firing on the entire territory of Ukraine with Russian cruise and ballistic missiles, and a huge risk of damage to nuclear plants,” Kotin said.

Kotin said the nuclear power station in the Zaporizhzhia region of southern Ukraine, which has been out of commission since September, was also disconnected from the grid.

The plant, which has been occupied by Russian forces since Russia began its invasion, was reconnected by Thursday morning. Each side has blamed the other for the shelling at the power plant complex.

On Thursday, residents of Ukraine’s bombed capital city bundled up tightly as they searched for power, warmth and clean water. Some residents resorted to holding water bottles under drain pipes to collect rainwater to drink.

People lined up for water in Kyiv
Kyiv residents bundled up in search of clean drinking water on Thursday.
AP
A severely damaged home in Ukraine
Russian rockets have targeted Ukrainian power grids, though some hit a maternity hospital on Wednesday.
AP

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Thursday morning that 70% of residents in the country’s capital were still without power.

Russian officials have tried to blame Ukraine’s government for the hardships currently being endured by residents.

“Ukraine’s leadership has every opportunity to bring the situation back to normal, has every opportunity to resolve the situation in such a way as to meet the demands of the Russian side and, accordingly, end all possible suffering of the civilian population,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

On Wednesday, a Ukrainian maternity hospital in Vilniansk, near the city of Zaporizhzhia, was destroyed by Russian rockets, injuring doctors and killing a newborn baby, officials said.

“At night, Russian monsters launched huge rockets at the small maternity ward of the hospital in Vilniansk,” regional governor Oleksandr Starukh wrote on Telegram.

“Grief overwhelms our hearts — a baby was killed who had just seen the light of day,” he said, sharing photos of thick smoke rising from the rubble of the hospital.

“A baby who was only two days old was killed, doctors were injured, one of whom received severe burns,” he added in a later post. “Shelling hospitals and killing children are the realities of Russian terrorism.”

It was just the latest attack on a hospital as Russia’s war enters its 10th month, and is the second time Russia has targeted a maternity hospital.

With Post wires

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