President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday said Russia was responsible for 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. “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 spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said the Russian attacks were an “act of desperation following Russia’s immense losses and retreat in eastern Ukraine.”
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