(CTN News) – According to the Ukrainian air force, several Russian missiles struck energy facilities and other infrastructure across Ukraine on Saturday, causing some blackouts.
The Russian attacks hit “very wide,” Volodymyr Zelensky said. With help from its partners, he promised to improve on an already good record of downing missiles.
In Kherson, Russian occupation authorities urged civilians to leave immediately, citing tense military conditions.
As Ukrainian forces moved southward through the Kherson region, they took over at least two villages they said Russian troops abandoned.
At least half of Ukraine’s thermal power generation and up to 40% of its entire system have been hit since Oct. 10.
In a swath of regions, officials reported strikes on energy facilities and power outages. Residents were advised to stock up on water.
There were power outages in parts of Kyiv into the evening. Shops were closed, and traffic lights weren’t working in one central district.
“This latest mass strike has affected a lot of regions,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.
“We can’t knock down 100 percent of Russian missiles and drones. But I’m confident that gradually, with our partners’ help, we’ll get there. Already we’re downing a majority of cruise missiles and drones.”
On Saturday, he said Ukrainian forces downed 20 missiles and more than 10 Iranian Shahed drones.
Air force command said 33 missiles were fired at Ukraine earlier. They shot down 18 of them.
POWER CUTS HIT SOUTHERN, CENTRAL UKRAINE
According to Reuters, a power outage over several hours disrupted mobile phone signals in Mykolaiv.
Local authorities warned that power cuts would turn off air raid sirens in the southeastern city of Nikopol, which gets shelled from Russian positions across the Dnipro River. Officials said emergency vehicles would warn of incoming aerial threats.
Teams are working to restore power to affected areas, Zelensky said. More than a million people were without power after two air raid alerts in the morning, presidential adviser Kyrylo Tymoshenko said.
On Twitter, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the strikes constituted genocide, while Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Moscow wanted to create new waves of refugees.
Despite acknowledging targeting energy infrastructure, Moscow denies targeting civilians.
Ukrainian state grid operator Ukrenergo said the attacks targeted transmission infrastructure in western Ukraine, but supply restrictions were imposed in 10 regions, including Kyiv.
“The damage is comparable or may be worse than what was caused by the attacks from October 10-12,” Ukrenergo wrote on the Telegram app.
Petro Panteleev, deputy head of Kyiv’s city administration, said strikes could leave the capital without power and heat for “several days or weeks”.
A Ukrainian offensive to recapture Kherson, the city that links Ukraine to the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, has prompted thousands of civilians to flee across the Dnipro River.
Saturday’s warning was more urgent.
“Russian occupation authorities said on Telegram that civilians must leave the city and cross to the left (east) bank of the Dnipro due to the tense situation at the front, the threat of massive shelling and the threat of terrorist attacks.
The Ukrainian General Staff said Ukrainian forces were moving into Russian-abandoned areas.
“The Russian occupying forces continue to leave the temporarily occupied Kherson region,” it said in its evening report.
On the west bank of the Dnipro, Russian forces have left Charivne and Chkalovo, while officers and medical staff have been evacuated from Beryslav and the west bank.
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