As Russian troops have been suffering from battlefield defeats since August, they have intensified long-range strikes against targets across Ukraine, aiming to "cause wide-spread damage to Ukraine's energy distribution network," according to the U.K. Defense Ministry. In the morning on Oct. 18, Russia hit civilian infrastructure sites in Dnipro, Kyiv and Zhytomyr.
Russian forces struck energy infrastructure in the city of Dnipro twice, according to Deputy Head of President's Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko. After the attack, some districts of Dnipro, as well as the towns of Synelnykove and Vasylkivka in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, have been left without electricity; there are problems with water supply on Dnipro's left bank, according to the oblast governor, Valentyn Reznichenko.
Russian troops fired three missiles at a power supply facility in Kyiv's Desnianskyi district, leading to power and water supply outages on Kyiv's left bank, according to energy company DTEK. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that Russia's strikes have damaged two critical infrastructure sites and urged the city residents to limit their water and electricity consumption.
Overall, nearly 50,000 people in Kyiv and 30,000 people in Dnipro were left without electricity, said Serhii Kovalenko, head of energy supplier Yasno.
Russia also hit a power supply facility in Zhytomyr twice, injuring two people and causing power and water outages in the city, according to Zhytomyr Mayor Serhii Sukhomlyn. The energy infrastructure in Zhytomyr Oblast was also hit, leaving 11 settlements without electricity, said Vitalii Bunechko, the oblast governor.
"Since Oct. 10, 30% of Ukraine's power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country," President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted on Oct. 18, adding that Russian attacks targeting energy and critical infrastructure leave "no space for negotiations with Putin's regime."
On Oct. 16, Zelensky called on Ukrainians, especially residents of Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast, to reduce electricity consumption in the evening hours due to Russia's massive strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure in recent weeks.
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