Ukraine is continuing an emergency shutdown to stabilize its power after a Russian missile attack on Monday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
He said that many areas were affected and local authorities warned that about half of the Kyiv region will remain without power in the coming days. Four people were killed in Monday’s attack.
Overnight, more bombs hit critical infrastructure near the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, officials said.
In a separate development on Tuesday, the governor of Russia’s Kursk region said the drone attack on the airport was likened to a fuel tank.
A video posted online shows flames and heavy smoke billowing from the site.
Roman Starovoyt said there were no injuries, but two local schools were closed for the day. He did not say who might be responsible for the attack in the Ukrainian border area. In Ukraine, the Minister of Energy said that he hopes to reduce the power of the latest Russian outage on Tuesday evening, by bringing nuclear power equipment back on the grid.
The country is now experiencing snow and freezing temperatures in many parts, and millions of people are without electricity or running water. It is feared that many people will die from hypothermia.
In his video speech on Monday night, President Zelensky said that 70 Russian missiles were shot down on Monday and “many of them were shot down.”
Mr. Zelensky said that “the largest number of closures are taking place in the regions of Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Khmelnytskyi and Cherkasy”, referring to regions across the length and breadth of the country. But he promised that the authorities “will do everything to restore stability”.
The Ukrainian leader said that electricity was also affected in neighboring Moldova, indicating that Russia’s behavior is “a threat not only to Ukraine, but also to our entire region”. The Ministry of Defense of Russia said that they have launched a high-level attack on the command and control of the Ukrainian military and other targets.
Monday’s attack was Russia’s eighth missile attack in eight weeks, and came days after repeated warnings that Moscow was planning another attack.
The attack came hours after a series of explosions rocked two military airfields in Russia, which Moscow blamed on Ukrainian drones intercepted by Russian air defenses. Three workers were killed and two planes were slightly damaged at airports in Ryazan and Saratov regions, Russian security officials said. Ukraine has not publicly commented on this issue. The two airfields – hundreds of kilometers from Ukraine’s border – have been used by Russian bombers since Moscow launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24.
President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Russian Security Council on Tuesday – a meeting normally held on Friday. State television showed excerpts from his opening speech, in which the Kremlin leader said the theme of the meeting would be state security.
Russia has accused Ukraine of attacking two airports
Before the latest Russian massacre, officials in Kyiv were talking about moving from highly disruptive emergency blackouts, which often last a few hours, to coordinated firefights that provide civilians Forecasting is very important.
Moscow has been knocking out Ukraine’s power grid since October 10, after several military defeats. Some Western leaders have called the plan a war crime, due to the massive damage to civilian infrastructure.
Experts have told the BBC that Russia’s approach to energy infrastructure may be designed to destabilize and intimidate the public, rather than to gain any military advantage. Moscow has repeatedly denied these allegations.