DThe latest wave of Russian missile attacks is once again forcing emergency repairs to Ukraine’s power grid. Several thermal and hydroelectric power plants had been damaged, said the head of the energy supplier Ukrenerho, Volodymyr Kudryzkyj, on Ukrainian television on Friday evening. The power supply in the Kharkiv region looks particularly bad. Due to the instability in the Ukrainian power grid, a reactor unit at the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant had to be shut down, and production was throttled at the Rivne and southern Ukraine nuclear power plants.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the Russian attack with about 100 rockets and cruise missiles on Friday as terrorism. In a video message, however, he told his compatriots how much support Ukraine had received during his trip to London, Paris and Brussels this week.
On February 24, war will have been raging for a year. US President Joe Biden announced a visit to key Ukraine supporter Poland shortly before the anniversary.
Kyiv: Russia deployed 71 cruise missiles
The danger from Russian missile attacks continued into Saturday night. In the capital Kiev, the air alarm was triggered for the fifth time late on Friday evening. “There is a threat of an attack with drones,” said the military administration of the Kiev region. Iranian-made combat drones were also sighted and shot down over the Mykolaiv and Odessa regions in the south.
According to the Ukrainian General Staff, the Russian army has used 71 cruise missiles in the attacks since Friday morning. 61 of them were intercepted. The cruise missiles were fired from Russian ships in the Black Sea and from aircraft. In addition, according to the preliminary count, Russia used 29 missiles of the S-300 system, which was actually intended for air defense, against ground targets in Ukraine. The information could not be independently verified.
Repairs to the power grid
“We were attacked by kamikaze drones and S-300 missiles, and finally a massive missile attack began in the morning,” said Ukrenerho boss Kudryzkyj on Friday. “The extent of the damage is significant: the Russians managed to damage several thermal and hydroelectric power plants.”
This has thrown back plans to normalize the electricity supply, he said. “But again there was no catastrophe.” The 14th wave of Russian attacks since last October also failed to achieve its goal of destroying the Ukrainian energy system.
In the city of Kharkov, work is being done to restore the power supply over the weekend. “The critical infrastructure of Kharkiv was supplied with electricity,” emphasized the Ukrenerho boss. Work is also being done to stabilize the situation in the Khmelnytskyi region and in Odessa. In the capital Kiev, there is currently six hours of electricity, then three hours without.
President draws a positive conclusion on the trip to Europe
“London, Paris, Brussels – I’ve been talking everywhere these days about how we can strengthen our soldiers,” Zelenskyy said in a video message on Friday evening. “There are very important agreements and we have received good signals.” This applies to longer-range missiles and tanks. “But we still have to work on the hoped-for delivery of combat aircraft as the next stage of cooperation”.