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Military: Energy facilities damaged in Russia’s overnight drone attack against Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 23, 2024 12:43 PM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. A high voltage substation switchyard stands partially destroyed after the Ukrenergo power station was hit by a Russian missile strike on Nov. 10, 2022, in central Ukraine. (Ed Ram/Getty Images)
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Russia’s overnight drone attack against Ukraine damaged energy facilities in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Southern Defense Forces reported on March 23.

Ukraine shot down 31 of 34 Shahed-type drones Russia launched overnight on March 23 from the Kursk region and Cape Chauda in occupied Crimea, according to the Air Force.

The drones that flew from Crimea "maneuvered in several areas, trying to bypass air defenses," the Southern Defense Forces said on Telegram.

The Ukrainian military in the south reportedly downed 12 of the 34 drones — four drones each in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, three in Kherson Oblast, and one more in Mykolaiv Oblast.

"Unfortunately, there is damage to energy facilities in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. There was no information about victims. The consequences are being clarified," according to the Southern Defense Forces.

The report did not specify the locations of the damaged facilities, likely not to disclose sensitive information about Ukraine's critical infrastructure.

With arrival of spring, a look at Russia’s winter strikes on Kyiv
In total, at least 45 people were killed in the capital, and more than 130 were wounded by Russian attacks over the winter of 2023-2024.

Russia launched over 150 drones and missiles on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure overnight on March 21-22 in what has been called "the largest mass attack on Ukraine's energy grid" throughout the full-scale war.

The Russian military targeted over 130 energy infrastructure facilities, causing power outages for almost 1.5 million Ukrainians. The attack also struck Ukraine's largest hydroelectric station, the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant.

Residents of eastern regions were affected the most. Kharkiv and the surrounding settlements experienced the worst outages, with the regional governor saying shortly after the attack that Kharkiv had been left "virtually completely without electricity."

As of the morning of March 23, the power supply was restored to 440,000 homes in Kharkiv, and 275,000 households were still left without electricity, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported.

Russian forces are exploiting Ukraine's air defense shortages to launch a renewed assault that aims to destroy the country's energy grid, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in their March 22 report.

Zaporizhzhia’s Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant hit amid Russian attack on energy infrastructure
Zaporizhzhia’s Dnipro Hydroelectric Station, Ukraine’s largest hydroelectric power plant, was hit during a Russian missile attack against Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Ukrhydroenergo announced on March 22.
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