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Ukraine says power restored to 6 million following intense Russia attacks on grid

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Picture taken on December 17, 2022 shows car lights near the Maidan Square during a power outage in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. (Photo by AFP)

Ukraine's president claims that power has been restored to almost six million people across the country following intense Russian attacks that battered the electricity grid.

Volodymyr Zelensky made the remarks in a video address on Saturday, a day after Russia launched scores of missiles against countrywide targets throughout Ukraine.

Confronting the attacks, Ukraine's army claimed it had intercepted and brought down 60 of the 76 incoming Russian missiles.

The attacks, however, forced Kiev to start implementing emergency blackouts nationwide, with Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko saying the projectiles had struck at least nine power-generating facilities all over the country.

Russia's Defense Ministry said Saturday the strikes had targeted Ukraine's military and energy facilities, while also  disrupting "the transfer of weapons and ammunition of foreign production," adding, "All assigned targets were hit."

"Repair work continues without a break" after Friday's attacks," Zelensky said, adding, "Of course, there is still a lot of work to do to stabilize the system."

"There are problems with the heat supplies. There are big problems with water supplies," the Ukrainian president noted, saying the capital Kiev as well as the cities of Vinnytsia and Lviv further to the west were experiencing the main difficulty.

Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said a quarter of the city still remained without heating, but that the subway system was back in service, the water supply had been restored, and 75 percent of the city's population had their heating supply back.

Around one-third of the city also remained without electricity, he said, adding that emergency outages would still be implemented to save power "because the deficit of electricity is significant."

Power was also restored throughout the eastern city of Kharkiv on Saturday, regional governor, Oleg Sinegubov said, after the strikes left Ukraine's second city without electricity.

Moscow says the strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure are a response to an explosion on the Kerch bridge connecting the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula.

Russia's war on Ukraine started in late February with Moscow saying that it was aimed at defending the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev.

Ever since the beginning of the war, Ukraine's Western allies, including the European Union and the US, have been pumping the ex-Soviet republic full of advanced weapons and slapping Russia with a slew of sanctions. Moscow says such measures will only prolong the war.

Moscow has responded to EU's decision to impose sanctions on Russia by imposing reciprocal bans on the bloc.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has said EU's "illegitimate unilateral restrictive measures" would not achieve their goal.

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