Kyiv, Ukraine — A massive barrage of Russian cruise missiles and drones hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkov and other Ukrainian cities early Monday morning, in what Moscow claims is a Ukrainian attack on the Black Sea Fleet. They knocked out water and power supplies in obvious retaliation for what they did.
Russia has stepped up attacks on Ukraine’s power plants and other critical infrastructure as the war enters its ninth month. As a result, large parts of Ukraine are already experiencing gradual blackouts.
“The Kremlin is avenging its military failures against peaceful people who have no electricity or heating before winter arrives,” said Kyiv governor Oleksiy Kleva.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian military carried out “strikes with long-range, high-precision air and sea weapons against Ukrainian military command and energy systems.”
“The target of the attack has been achieved. All specified objectives have been achieved,” the ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said 12 ships laden with grain left Ukrainian ports on Monday, despite Russia’s threat to re-impose a blockade that threatens hunger around the world. A ship brought Ukrainian wheat to Ethiopia. A severe drought is affecting millions of people in Ethiopia.
The Ukrainian Air Force said it shot down 44 of more than 50 cruise missiles launched by Russia.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmykhal said Russian missiles and drones hit 10 regions in Ukraine, mostly damaging 18 energy installations.
Hundreds of areas in seven regions of Ukraine were without power, he said in a Facebook post, adding that if Ukrainian forces hadn’t shot down most of the Russian missiles, “the outcome could have been much worse.” added.
The morning attack resulted in 13 injuries, National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko said on state television.
As residents prepared to go to work, a loud explosion was heard in the Ukrainian capital. Emergency services sent him a text message warning him of the threat of a missile attack, and an air raid sirens went off for his three hours during his morning commute.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said 80 percent of Kyiv’s 3 million consumers were left without water due to damage to the power system. By Monday evening, workers had reduced the percentage to 40%, and the number of apartments without electricity from 350,000 to 270,000. To reduce power consumption, Kyiv authorities have increased the distance between metro trains and replaced electric trolleybuses and trams with buses, Klitschko said. Subway service resumed on Monday night.
Hundreds of people lined up in Kyiv, sometimes for more than an hour, to hand pump water from wells and fill bottles and cans.
“It’s affecting our lives. It’s really inconvenient,” said the 34-year-old resident, who agreed to provide only his first name, Dennis, as he fetched water. The problem is that we are at war.”
Smoke rises from the left bank of the Dnieper in Kyiv, shot down by missile strikes or Ukrainian forces.
An Associated Press reporter saw soldiers inspecting craters and debris from where one of the missiles landed on the outskirts of Kyiv. It sounded like an explosion.
“I was really scared,” said Oleksandr Ryabtsev, 28, who was on his way to work. You could see this cruise missile, I didn’t even go to work. i went home “
Prime Minister Shmykhal said an emergency blackout is ongoing in Kyiv, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkov regions. “Today, as in previous weeks, it is important for Ukrainians to consume energy carefully and reduce the load on the grid,” the official said.
In the eastern city of Kharkiv, two strikes have hit critical infrastructure and the metro has stopped running, authorities said.
A critical infrastructure site was also attacked in the Cherkasy region, southeast of Kyiv. According to local authorities, an energy facility was attacked in the Kirovohrad region of central Ukraine. In Vinnitia, the wreckage of a shot-down missile landed on a civilian building, causing damage but no casualties, said Serhiy Borzov, the regional governor.
Ukrainian Railways reported that parts of the Ukrainian railway network experienced a power outage.
The attack came two days after Russia accused Ukraine of launching a drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea. Ukraine denies the attack and says Russia mishandled its weapons, but Russia has stopped participating in a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that would allow the safe passage of ships carrying grain from Ukraine. He announced that he would retaliate by doing so.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a phone call on Monday to “reconsider” Moscow’s suspension of participation in the grain deal that has allowed Ukraine to export more than 9 million tons of grain. urged to do so. Akar hailed the deal as an example of how problems can be resolved through “cooperation and dialogue,” according to a statement, arguing it was a “fully humanitarian activity” and should be kept separate from the conflict.
Monday’s strike marked the third time this month that Russia has launched a major attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure. On October 10, a similar attack rocked the war-torn country, following an explosion at the Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea with mainland Russia.
One of the Russian missiles shot down by Ukraine landed in a border city in Moldova, causing damage but no casualties.
Moldova’s interior ministry has released photos showing thick smoke and broken windows in the northern city of Naslavcia on the border with Ukraine.
In another development, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday that it had completed a partial mobilization of its troops, ostensibly fulfilling its promise to end the muster with 300,000 people. It warns that only President Putin can end the convocation by signing the order.
Susan Fraser from Ankara, Turkey. Karel Janicek in Prague. Sabina Nikšić, from Sarajevo, Bosnia, contributed to this report.
Follow AP’s war coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
The article was amended to show that Monday’s strike was Russia’s third major barrage of Ukrainian infrastructure this month, not the second.