Ukraine freezes in fresh power cuts after Putin blasts the grid

Ukraine: Fox discusses impact of winter on Russian forces

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They were declared hours after Vladimir Putin vowed to continue hitting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

The Kremlin launched its latest attacks on Monday, timed to hit millions as winter temperatures plummet – and just as emergency blackouts were due to end.

Ukrainian grid operator Ukrenergo said: “Because of damage caused by missile strikes to power plants and the high-voltage network, the system has a significant shortage of electricity.”

The situation has been made worse by severe frost, rain, snow and strong winds, which are causing wires to ice over in western regions.

But the east, where fighting has been fiercest, is suffering most. Zaporizhzhia governor Oleksandr Starukh said: “There is a lack of energy – up to a third of what is needed.”

The country’s largest private power producer, DTEK, said blackouts were launched in and around the capital Kyiv, the southern region of Odesa and central Dnipro. Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, says strikes on vital infrastructure are militarily legitimate.

Kyiv says the grid attacks are a war crime and “amount to genocide”.

The United Nations and the World Health Organisation warn millions of Ukrainians could freeze to death this winter, unless Russia relents.

Putin said the strikes were reprisal for the bombing of a Russian bridge to annexed Crimea on October 8.

He also said Ukraine blew up power lines from the Kursk nuclear power plant and it was also “genocide” to cut off water to Russian-occupied Donetsk.

The leader accused the West of “complete silence” and bias against Russia.

Meanwhile, Russia is said to have installed multiple rocket launchers at the shut-down Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukraine fears Europe’s largest atomic power station could be used to fire on defending forces and heighten radiation dangers.

Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the latest Russian attacks on the country’s infrastructure in a phone call yesterday.

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