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Russian airstrikes target Ukrainian power facilities in major missile and drone attack

A firefighter works at a compound of power infrastructure facilities, which was hit by Russian missile and drone strikes at an undisclosed location in Ukraine on April 11, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia has launched a massive aerial attack on Ukrainian power facilities across five regions, intensifying the pressure on Kiev's energy infrastructure as its diminishing air defense capabilities.

Russia on Thursday hit the city of Kharkiv and targeted "critical infrastructure" across the country, the latest in Moscow's targeted attacks against Ukraine’s power network.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on X platform that Russia fired over 40 missiles and 40 drones on various sites across central, eastern, and western Ukraine, including the Kiev region.

No casualties have been reported so far by Ukrainian officials.

Zelensky confirmed Moscow was hitting "critical infrastructure" across the country as reports from different regions indicate that power stations and gas distribution centers have been specifically attacked.

Over 200,000 people were left without electricity as a result of the strikes that targeted facilities spanning from the Lviv region on the Polish border to the northeastern Kharkiv region and the southern Zaporizhzhia and Odesa regions, according to a presidential aide.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said hundreds of rescuers had been deployed at sites across the country after "massive shelling," adding that the Russian military attacked five regions of Ukraine, hitting critical infrastructure.

Maksym Kozytsky, governor of Lviv region, said Moscow attacked a gas distribution facility and an electricity substation with "cruise missiles of various classes and drones."

In the past few months, Ukraine's energy facilities have been targeted by intense airstrikes from Moscow, in some of the largest attacks in the ongoing two-year conflict.

DTEK, Ukraine's biggest private electricity company, reported that two of its power stations were severely damaged by Russia's attacks on March 22 and March 29, resulting in an 80% loss of generating capacity.

Moreover, Russia said it had destroyed 12 Ukrainian drones overnight, including three as far east as the Mordovia republic while others were destroyed over the Kursk, Tambov, Belgorod, Bryansk and Lipetsk regions.

Meanwhile, during his visit to Lithuania, Zelensky once again called on Ukraine's Western allies not to "turn a blind eye" to the ongoing situation and to provide increased support in terms of air defense systems.

He reiterated on Saturday that Ukraine could run out of air defense missiles if Russian forces continued with their special military operation in the country.

In a rare interview published in late March, Ukraine’s newly appointed commander-in-chief, Oleksandr Syrsky, revealed that Russian forces are overpowering Ukrainian troops on the frontlines, resulting in significant casualties and territorial setbacks.

Since Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Zelensky has been appealing to Kiev's Western allies to provide more arms and ammunition, particularly long-range missiles, fighter jet planes and air defenses.

Russia has warned that providing military support to Ukraine by its Western allies will further prolong the conflict. 

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