Russia launched a barrage of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities on Monday, intensifying its assault on the nation’s infrastructure.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that 80% of residents were without water after a power outage caused by a Russian strike, and many lost electricity.
One of the strikes hit an energy facility that powers 350,000 apartments in the capital, Klitschko said, adding that emergency services were trying to restore power and “stabilize the situation as quickly as possible.”
Critical infrastructure was also attacked in the central regions of Cherkasy and Kirovolad, the eastern region of Kharkiv and the southern regions of Zafrizh fever.
The wave of strikes came after Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the Crimea city of Sevastopol over the weekend. Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014 and has since controlled the territory.
Klitschko urged residents of the capital to buy water from shops and pumping stations after a nearby power facility was attacked.
“Currently, 80% of consumers in the capital still have no water supply due to the destruction of energy facilities near Kyiv,” he said on Telegram. “Just in case, we ask you to stock up on water from the nearest pump and point of sale. Experts are doing everything possible to get the water back to the apartments of Kyiv residents.”
He later said supplies would return to parts of the capital’s east and west banks within hours. He added that power in the Desnianskyi district had been “partially restored”.
Yana Lysenko, 31, told CNN in Kyiv: “Monday morning started out as scary as usual. I have a 4-year-old, so of course I was stressed.
“We don’t have water right now, but we have electricity. We hope these services will restore everything soon. Our spirits are very high and we are waiting for victory. This terror against water and electricity supply, I am sure, will no longer scare people. .”
Victor Harasan, 70, told CNN he remained optimistic despite the lack of water.
“It’s fine without water, we can deal with that,” he said, adding that he hoped Ukraine’s “army would get us closer to victory as soon as possible.”
Oleksandr Nechpuriak, a local office worker, told CNN he was fetching water for 15 people.
“It’s important to keep the office running,” said Necky Priak, who works in food production.
“We will deal with this,” he said, adding that “there is no other option”.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko called the attacks “brutal” on Facebook, saying: “Substations, hydroelectric and heating facilities were hit by rockets.”
He added: “As a result of this massive attack, Kiev, Cherkasy (and) Zaporozhye as well as Cherkasy, Kyiv, Kirovolad, Kharkiv, Zaporozhye and (and) ) Consumers in Poltava have seen partial outages and emergency blackout schedules in the region.”
Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram that the water supply in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was also affected by the impact on infrastructure, while most metro train services were stopped.
“Heavy strikes hit a critical infrastructure, causing power outages for the metro and ground electric transport,” he said. “Currently, we have successfully opened the Kholodnohirsko-Zavodska (metro) line, and we have replaced trolleybuses with buses. and trams.”
Engineers “are doing everything possible to restore the water supply to Kharkov residents’ homes as soon as possible,” Terekhov said.
The mayor previously said on Telegram that two missiles hit Kharkiv on Monday morning.
In the central city of Kryvyi Rih, a missile hit an industrial enterprise, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said on Telegram.
“During the morning missile attack, two missiles were shot down (thanks to the air defense forces) and a cruise missile hit an industrial enterprise,” he said. No casualties were reported.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Telegram that Monday’s strikes hit 10 districts and damaged 18 facilities.
“Their targets are not military installations, but civilian critical infrastructure,” Shmyhal said. “Missiles and drones hit 10 areas and damaged 18 facilities, most of them energy-related.”
He said “hundreds of settlements in seven districts” had lost power and engineers were “full out” to repair the damage.
Russia fired more than 50 cruise missiles at Ukraine on Monday and said it had intercepted 44 of them, Ukraine’s air force said.
“At 7 am on October 31, the Russian occupiers launched several waves of missile attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Armed Forces Air Force Command said.
“More than 50 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles were launched from Tu-95/Tu-160 strategic aviation missile carriers north of the Caspian Sea and the Volgo-Donsk region (Rostov region). The Air Force statement added, 44 cruise missiles were destroyed by the Ukrainian military.
At least 10 Russian missiles were shot down over Kyiv early Monday, regional police chief Andrii Nebytov said on Telegram.
“Police in the Kyiv region are now finding fragments of rockets shot down by the occupiers in various areas of the region,” he said. “Air defenses shot down at least 10 enemy missiles.”
Oleksii Kuleba, head of the Kyiv region’s military administration, said the attack “hit critical infrastructure targets” and injured two people, one seriously.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command said on television that Monday’s missiles were fired from Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers that took off from Russia’s Rostov region and the Caspian Sea.
Yurii Ihnat said there had been “several waves of missiles” and reiterated that Ukraine had shot down “a very high percentage”.
Moscow has defended the attack. Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Telegram on Monday that it was targeting Ukraine’s “military command and energy systems.”
“The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to use high-precision, long-range air and sea weapons against Ukrainian military command and energy systems,” it said. “All specified objects were hit.”
Russia has launched a spate of attacks on Ukraine’s electricity and heating infrastructure in recent weeks.
Even before Monday’s strike, the situation was serious. On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said about 4 million Ukrainians that day were limited by power following attacks on energy infrastructure.
Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Center, told CNN last week that the attack on infrastructure was part of a larger plan by President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin’s game plan is clear: He wants to make this winter the coldest and darkest in Ukrainian history,” she said.
“He will continue to hit the infrastructure grid to cut off electricity and heat in Ukraine. His kamikaze drone strikes are designed to undermine the will of the Ukrainian people and cause panic.”
Monday’s attack came after Russia suspended its participation in a UN-brokered food deal seen as key to addressing global food shortages. Moscow announced its withdrawal from the deal on Saturday, accusing Ukraine of launching a drone attack on Crimea. Kyiv accused Russia of inventing a “fictitious terrorist attack” and using the deal as “extortion”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a routine call with reporters on Monday that the Black Sea grain trade was “dangerous” and “dangerous” if Russia could not guarantee the safety of navigation.
Asked whether it was possible to continue the grain trade without Russia’s involvement, Peskov said that without Russia’s guarantee of the safety of navigation in these areas, “such a deal would be almost impossible.”