Key developments on Oct. 18
- Russia intensifies attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure
- Ukraine’s foreign minister proposes to cut diplomatic ties with Iran
- 5 children bodies found at Lyman’s mass burial site
- Russia launches over 190 strikes across Ukraine from Oct. 7 to 18
Russia renewed attacks on Ukraine’s energy facilities across the country on Oct. 18, killing civilians and leaving cities without water and power.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been “destroyed” since Oct. 10, when Russia intensified its strikes on critical infrastructure across the country.
“No space left for negotiations with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's regime,” Zelensky said on Twitter.
On Oct. 18, Russia launched three strikes on a remote neighborhood in Kyiv, hitting a power facility and killing three employees working at the site, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
Residents living in Troieshchyna, on Kyiv’s left bank, were cut off from electricity and water, but repair is underway, DTEK energy company said.
Dnipro was also struck twice, causing “serious damage” to energy infrastructure in the city, Deputy Head of the President's Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko reported. A city east of Dnipro was left without water in the morning, according to the local authorities.
Further east in Donetsk Oblast, Russian missiles hit a thermal power plant in Kurakhove late on Oct. 17 and early on Oct. 18, causing damage to the facility and wounding several people, mayor Roman Padun said.
Facing battlefield setbacks since August, Russia has “highly likely gained a greater willingness” to strike civilian infrastructure, such as energy systems, as well as military targets, according to the latest U.K. intelligence report.
All regions across Ukraine should be prepared for possible power, water, and heat outages due to further Russian attacks on infrastructure, Tymoshenko said on TV.
“Everyone needs to prepare for a hard winter," Tymoshenko said, adding that the situation is critical.
On the battlefield, Ukraine’s counteroffensive is digging deeper into the Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast in the south.
Southern military command spokeswoman Natalia Humeniuk said on TV that Ukrainian forces are nearing Kherson, but there is “more work to be done.”
As Ukraine advances in the south, Russian forces have tried to put pressure on Ukraine by increasing naval presence in the Black Sea, Humeniuk added.
In the eastern Donetsk Oblast, Russian forces massed fire using artillery and mortars in the direction of Bakhmut and Siversk, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.
Severing ties with Iran
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Oct 18 that he would propose to Zelensky to cut diplomatic ties with Iran over its involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Kuleba’s comment comes a day after Russia attacked Kyiv with 28 Iranian-made kamikaze drones, killing at least five people. Russia has increasingly used drones to attack civilian and military targets across the country in recent weeks.
"Iran's actions are meanness and lies that we will not tolerate," Kuleba said during a briefing on Oct. 18.
Iran is violating a United Nations Security Council resolution by equipping Russia with deadly drones, deputy State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a briefing on Oct. 17.
Patel said that Washington would “make it harder for Iran to sell these weapons to Russia” by imposing sanctions on both countries’ arms trade.
Casualties and attacks
Russian forces launched nine missile strikes and 10 airstrikes across Ukraine on Oct. 18, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.
More bodies were found in the liberated territory of eastern Donetsk Oblast. The regional police department reported on Oct. 18 that it has discovered five bodies of children at a mass burial site in Lyman.
Earlier on Oct. 17, Ukrainian authorities reported that they had exhumed 187 bodies at a mass burial site in Lyman, 35 of which were soldiers.
Heavy shelling continues in Donetsk Oblast. Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Oct. 18 that six civilians were killed and eight were wounded in the region over the past day.
Russian forces also attacked central Mykolaiv with S-300 missile systems overnight, hitting a two-story residential building and killing a man, Governor Vitaliy Kim reported. The attack also hit a flower market and a park, according to the official.
“They (Russian forces) continue to do what they do best - terrorize and kill civilians,” Kim said on Telegram.
Across the country, Russia launched over 190 strikes with missiles and kamikaze drones from Oct. 7 to 18, State Emergency Service spokesperson Oleksandr Khorunzhyi said during a briefing.
Khorunzhyi said that over 70 people were killed, more than 240 people were wounded, and 380 sites were damaged since Oct. 7.