Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2024
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Russian forces launch devastating missile strikes on grid | World | News


Vladimir Putin‘s forces unleashed a barrage of over 50 cruise missiles and explosive drones on Ukraine‘s power grid on Wednesday, targeting a wide area in what President Volodymyr Zelensky termed a “massive” attack coinciding with Ukraine‘s commemoration of the defeat of Nazism in World War Two.

The bombardment struck targets across seven Ukrainian regions, including the Kyiv area and parts of the south and west, causing damage to homes and the country’s rail network, authorities reported. The assault resulted in three injuries, including an 8-year-old girl, according to officials.

This latest escalation underscores Russia‘s repeated targeting of Ukraine‘s energy infrastructure during the prolonged conflict, now entering its third year and claiming thousands of lives. By disrupting power supplies, the Kremlin’s forces aim to cripple Ukrainian manufacturing, particularly military plants, and erode public morale.

Since the outset of Russia‘s full-scale invasion in February 2022, nearly half of Ukraine‘s power infrastructure has been damaged in Russian attacks, officials claim. The cumulative damage is estimated at a staggering $12.5 billion, with an additional $1 billion inflicted in the past two weeks alone, according to Andrii Herus, chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Committee on Energy and Housing Services.

The relentless barrages also deplete Ukrainian air defences of critical ammunition as Kyiv’s embattled forces await the delivery of promised Western military support, including NATO-standard air defence systems like Patriots.

Zelensky underscored the significance of Wednesday’s attacks occurring on the day of Ukraine‘s observance of the end of European fighting in World War II. He likened Ukraine‘s current struggle to that historic conflict, emphasising on social platform X that “only a united free world” can halt Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s aggression.

Ukraine shifted the date of its Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism to avoid coinciding with Russia‘s Victory Day commemorations on May 9.

Russia‘s assault on Ukraine‘s energy infrastructure intensified during the “blackout winter” of 2022-23. In March, a fresh wave of attacks was launched, culminating in the complete destruction of the Trypilska power plant near Kyiv, one of Ukraine‘s largest.

President Putin has framed these attacks as retaliation for Ukrainian long-range strikes on Russian oil refineries. Just on Wednesday, a Ukrainian strike targeted an oil terminal, resulting in five worker injuries and igniting a fire, as per Russia-appointed authorities in the partially occupied Luhansk region.

Despite the frequency of Russian bombardments, recent weeks have witnessed a decrease in their regularity, leading Ukrainian officials to speculate that Moscow may be stockpiling resources in preparation for a major battlefield offensive, potentially within weeks.



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