Ukraine downs 60 Russian missiles amid another mass strike on energy system
Editor's Note: This article was updated at 10 p.m. to include the recent number of casualties.
Russia unleashed another mass missile barrage on Ukraine on Dec. 5 targeting energy infrastructure across the country.
Out of the 70 missiles launched by Russia, 60 have been intercepted, the Ukrainian Air Force reported.
Still, Russian forces managed to hit energy infrastructure facilities in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, and Odesa oblasts, according to the state grid operator Ukrenergo.
The strikes led to emergency power outages in at least six oblasts, including Odesa, Mykolaiv, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, and Cherkasy.
Ukrenergo didn’t specify how many facilities have been hit.
The mass attack killed at least four people, according to authorities, and at least one person in Odesa Oblast was injured, Deputy Head of the President’s Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko reported.
Russia has been targeting Ukraine's critical infrastructure since early October, admitting that the country's energy facilities are its primary goal.
The mass missile strike on Dec. 5 was the sixth Russian attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure since Oct. 10.
In the previous strikes, Russia launched dozens of missiles at a time, killing civilians, damaging critical infrastructure, and causing blackouts across the country. As of Nov. 18, half of Ukraine’s energy system was disabled due to Russian attacks, according to the government.
According to the Geneva Conventions, attacking vital public infrastructure is a war crime.
Despite another large-scale attack and emergency blackouts, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the country's energy system was “functioning and remains intact.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that emergency services were already working on restoring electricity.
"Our people will never give up," Zelensky said.
Explosions occurred in at least eight oblasts in the early afternoon while the entire country was yet again under nationwide air alert.
The Russian attack also caused electricity cut-offs in Moldova, which had already suffered blackouts caused by Russia’s mass attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure on Nov. 23 and Nov. 15.
There was another consequence of Russia’s missile strike for Moldova. A missile section was found near the village of Briceni, northern Moldova, close to the Ukrainian border during the attack.
The missile's origin is still unclear, but it was found amid Russia’s missile barrage on Ukraine.
Oleg Nikolenko, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, wrote the missile found in Moldova proved that Russia’s war was also threatening Ukraine’s neighbors.
"This once again proves that Russian missile terror poses huge threats not only to the security of Ukraine but also to the security of neighboring countries," Nikolenko wrote on Facebook.
Earlier on Nov. 15, amid another nationwide Russian mass missile attack, a missile fell in the Polish village of Przewodow and killed two people.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said it was a Ukrainian air defense missile and called it an “unfortunate accident.”
“Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles, unfortunately, fell on Polish territory,” Duda said.
Duda emphasized that "this was a tragic incident that happened due to Russia's fault."
The White House emphasized that Russia is responsible for the “tragic incident” regardless of whose missile fell on eastern Poland.
"Ukraine had — and has — every right to defend itself," the White House said in a statement.
Ukraine, however, didn’t confirm it was its missile. Zelensky said that he had “no doubt” that it wasn’t a Ukrainian missile.
"I believe that this was a Russian missile, based on our military reports," Zelensky said, adding that he wanted Ukrainian representatives participating in the investigation in Poland.
He later asked the West to share “all the data” about the blast with Ukraine.
Note from the author:
Hello, this is Alexander Query, the reporter behind this piece. While Russia unleashed yet another weekly rain of missiles on Ukraine, my colleagues were taking shelter to continue to provide our readers with the latest from the ground. Consider supporting us on Patreon to help us cover the war unfolding in Ukraine.