Russia rains missiles on Ukraine’s electrical plants

The attacks hit the Dnipro hydroelectric station, which powers the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The attacks hit the Dnipro hydroelectric station, which powers the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Photo: AAP

Russia has attacked electrical power facilities in much of Ukraine, including the country’s largest hydroelectric plant, causing widespread outages and killing at least three people, officials say.

Russia fired 88 missiles and 63 Shahed drones, of which only 37 and 55 were shot down respectively, the Ukrainian air force said, a worse ratio than usual that might reflect the widespread use of hypersonic and ballistic missiles that are harder to down.

Energy Minister German Galushchenko said the overnight strikes were the largest attack on the Ukrainian energy sector in recent times.

“The goal is not just to damage, but to try again, like last year, to cause a large-scale disruption of the country’s energy system,” he said on Friday.

The attacks caused a fire at the Dnipro hydroelectric station, which supplies electricity to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power installation.

The main 750-kilovolt power line to the plant was cut off, International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi said.

A lower-power back-up line was working, he said.

The plant is occupied by Russian troops, and fighting around the plant has been a constant concern because of the potential for a nuclear accident.

The dam at the hydroelectric station was not in danger of breaching, the country’s hydroelectric authority said.

A dam breach could not only disrupt supplies to the nuclear plant but would potentially cause severe flooding similar to what occurred last year when a major dam at Kakhovka further down the Dnieper collapsed.

One person was killed and at least eight injured in the Russian attack, said Zaporizhzhia regional governor Ivan Fedorov.

Attacks on energy facilities in the Kharkiv region caused blackouts, and other attacks were reported in areas of western Ukraine far from the front lines.

Two people died in the Khmelnytskyi region, according to the internal affairs ministry.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the Telegram messaging app: “The world sees the targets of Russian terrorists as clearly as possible: power plants and energy supply lines, a hydroelectric dam, ordinary residential buildings, even a trolleybus.

“Russia is fighting against the ordinary life of people.”

Kremlin officials said on Friday that one person died and at least three were injured in Ukrainian shelling of areas near the border.

The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said a woman was killed when a shell landed nearby while she was walking her dogs, with two other people injured.

The town of Tetkino in the Kursk region was shelled, injuring one person, according to governor Roman Starovoit.

Both regions have been subject to shelling and drone attacks in recent weeks and officials have said attempts by Ukrainian fighters to cross into Russian territory have been repelled.


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