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22 Mar, 2024 09:24

Large-scale power outages reported across Ukraine after Russian strikes (VIDEOS)

One attack severely damaged the Dnieper Hydro Power Plant in the Kiev-controlled part of Zaporozhye Region, local officials say
Large-scale power outages reported across Ukraine after Russian strikes (VIDEOS)

The Russian military has launched a powerful wave of air and missile strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure overnight, officials in Kiev have claimed. The Defense Ministry in Moscow has yet to comment on the assertions.

Reports on the ground described it as the most powerful attack for many months. One Russian missile strike targeted the Dnieper Hydro Power Plant (HPP) in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporozhye, according to Ukrhydroenergo. The company stated that the facility had been hit and that a fire was raging at the site. 

Officials insisted that “there is no danger of a breach” to the dam and that the situation was under control. Igor Sirota, the head of Ukrhydroenergo, assessed the scale of the damage as extensive, stating that “as of now, we are losing the station.” 

Videos and photos circulating on social media appear to show a fire on a dam adjacent to the Dnieper HPP.

In a post on Facebook on Friday, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko alleged that Russia’s goal was “not only to damage, but to try again, like last year, to cause a large-scale failure of the country’s energy system.”

“Unfortunately, there are impacts and damage to power generation facilities, transmission and distribution systems in various regions,” he wrote, noting that one of the power lines linked to Russia’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant had been severed. Zaporozhye Region joined Russia in a referendum in the fall of 2022.

Meanwhile, massive blackouts have been reported elsewhere in the country, including Kharkov, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Vinnitsa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Nikolaev regions. According to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Moscow used more than 60 drones and almost 90 missiles of different types in the barrage.

Kharkov Mayor Igor Terekhov said that there had been 15 explosions in the city, reporting issues with water supplies, while traffic lights and electric transport have been completely disabled.

The head of Odessa Region, Oleg Kiper, said Russian strikes had left around 53,000 people without electricity, with work underway to repair the damage. 

Commenting on the latest strikes, Russian MP Mikhail Sheremet stated they were in response to Ukrainian attacks on Russian civilians in Belgorod and other border areas, which left dozens of civilians dead. 

Moscow began targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the autumn of 2022 in retaliation for the bombing of the strategic Crimean Bridge in October of the same year. While Kiev initially denied responsibility, it later claimed that the attack was intended to undermine Russian logistics.