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29 Mar, 2024 16:00

Russia launches strikes against Ukraine’s energy sector – MOD (VIDEO)

The large-scale attack also targeted anti-aircraft defenses, the Defense Ministry in Moscow has said
Russia launches strikes against Ukraine’s energy sector – MOD (VIDEO)

Russia carried out a large-scale attack against the Ukrainian energy sector and its anti-aircraft defenses overnight on Thursday, the Defense Ministry in Moscow announced on Friday. The attack involved multiple weapons including hypersonic air-launched Kinzhal missiles and kamikaze drones. 

All objectives were successfully carried out and all designated targets were hit during the strike, the ministry said in its daily briefing. The military did not name the exact location of any of the targets. 

According to the Ukrainian military, the country was targeted with a total of 99 projectiles, including some 60 suicide drones and three Kinzhal missiles. Kiev, which has routinely claimed to shoot down incoming projectiles at exceptional rates, said some 84 of the munitions had been shot down. This time, however, it did not claim any Kinzhal kills.

Despite the Ukrainian military’s claims, hits were reported in multiple locations across Ukraine. Hydroelectric and thermal power plants, as well as natural gas storage and transit infrastructure, are believed to have been targeted in the overnight strike.

Unverified footage circulating online purports to show the hydroelectric plant located near the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchug sustaining at least two hits.

The DTEK group, Ukraine’s largest private power generating company, said three facilities it operates had sustained “damage” during the attack. 

Separately, the country’s Energy Ministry urged the public and authorities alike to withhold information about the attacks, the facilities targeted, and the extent of the damage they might have sustained. 

“Disclosure of such information is a very big threat, since enemy intelligence is actively working with open sources of information. Do not give the enemy valuable information that it will surely use to plan new attacks,” the ministry stated. 

Russia first began targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in the autumn of 2022 in response to the bombing of the Crimean Bridge in October of that year. While Kiev initially denied responsibility, it later admitted its involvement in the attack.

The latest campaign against critical Ukrainian infrastructure was launched earlier this month in the wake of Kiev’s attempts to breach into Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod regions, as well as indiscriminate attacks on settlements along the border, including the city of Belgorod itself.  

Unlike the previous campaign, which predominantly targeted switching substations, the new series of strikes appears to have targeted the power generation facilities themselves, several of which sustained critical damage, including Ukraine’s largest hydroelectric plant, the DneproGES.