Russia unleashed a barrage of missiles overnight — “aThe Ukrainian Air Force said in a statement on Saturday that it had targeted “critical infrastructure.” Ukrainian officials have confirmed that at least half a dozen areas have been targeted, including the capital Kyiv.
The Air Force said it had shot down 18 of 33 cruise missiles launched from the air and sea.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on the Telegram message service that “several rockets” aimed at the capital were shot down on Saturday morning. Similar reports were made by the governor of his six provinces in the West and Central, as well as the Odessa region in the south, facing the Black Sea.
The attack is part of Russia’s latest strategy. Over the past two weeks, Russia has stepped up its attacks on critical civilian infrastructure across Ukraine as the country prepares for a cold winter. About 40% of the country’s power system has been severely damaged, officials said. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said earlier in the week that his 30% of Ukrainian power plants have been destroyed since October 10.
Hundreds of thousands of people in central and western Ukraine were awakened by blackouts on Saturday. The western city of Khmelnytsky, which straddles the Bug River and was home to about 275,000 people before the war, suffered a power outage on Saturday after local media reported several loud explosions.
In a social media post on Saturday, the city council urged locals to stockpile water “just in case they run out within an hour.”
The mayor of Lutsk, a city of 215,000 in the far west of Ukraine, made a similar appeal on Telegram on Saturday. Power in Lutsk was partially knocked out after a Russian missile slammed into a local energy facility, he said.
The central city of Uman, an important Hasidic Jewish pilgrimage site that numbered about 100,000 residents before the war, also plunged into darkness after a rocket struck a nearby power plant, local officials said. told Telegram.
The capital and four surrounding areas, including Cherkasy, implemented rolling blackouts on Saturday morning in response to reduced power supplies. The state-owned energy company Uklenergo continued to call on all Ukrainians to conserve energy.
Earlier this week, President Zelensky called on consumers to limit their use of electricity between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day and avoid using energy-hungry appliances such as electric heaters.