Zelensky blames Moscow for blackout

Russian tactics hit Ukrainian civilians

September 13, 2022

KYIV, Ukraine (AFP) — President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of causing sweeping electricity cuts across east Ukraine, accusing Moscow of deliberately hitting civilian infrastructure.

Zelensky blamed “Russian terrorists” for “a total blackout in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, a partial one in the Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Sumy regions.”

“No military facilities,” he said in a statement on social media on Sunday. “The goal is to deprive people of light and heat.”

The blackouts affected regions with an estimated combined population of nine million people — including territory controlled by Russia.

They came as Ukrainian forces claimed to have recaptured dozens of towns and villages in eastern Ukraine.

Officials in the Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk and Poltava regions said shortly after the electricity cut announcements that power had been restored.

The Russian attacks were also disrupting railways, with the national train service announcing delays throughout the east including the country’s second largest city, Kharkiv.

Senior Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak said that among the facilities hit was the Kharkiv CHPP-5 electricity station.

Footage distributed from an attack in Kharkiv by Kyrylo Tymoshenko in the Ukrainian presidential administration showed a blaze at an industrial site, with emergency services on the scene.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said the Russian attacks were an “act of desperation following Russia’s immense losses and retreat in eastern Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian armed forces claimed success for its large counter-offensive.

“In the past 24 hours, Ukrainian armed forces drove the enemy away from more than 20 settlements” and are regaining “full control over them” the Ukrainian army said in its daily briefing on Monday.

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