Ukraine battles to restore power after latest Russian barrage

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Ukraine struggled on Thursday to repair its battered power and water services after Russia targeted the electricity grid with dozens of cruise missiles and temperatures plunged.

The Ukrainian energy system is on the brink of collapse and millions have been subjected to emer-gency blackouts for weeks due to systematic Russian bombardments of the grid.

The World Health Organisation has warned of “life-threatening” consequences and estimated that millions could leave their homes as a result.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko said more than two-thirds of the capital was still cut off despite municipal work-ers in Kyiv restoring some water service overnight.

“Seventy percent of the capital remains without electricity,” Klitschko said. “Energy companies are making every effort to return it as soon as possible,” he added.

Kyiv shivered on Thursday as temperatures hovered just above zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) with some rain. Ukraine’s military ac-cused Russian forces of firing around 70 cruise missiles at targets across the country on Wednesday and of deploying attack drones.

Ten people were killed and around 50 wounded, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin told local media. But Russia’s defence ministry denied striking any targets inside Kyiv and said damage in the capital was the result of Ukrainian and foreign air defence systems.

“Not a single strike was made on targets within the city of Kyiv,” it said. Moscow’s targeting of power facilities is their bid to force capitulation after nine months of war that has seen Russian forces fail in most of their stated territorial objectives.

“So many victims, so many houses ruined,” 52-year-old Iryna Shyrokova said in Vyshgorod on the outskirts of Kyiv after Wednesday’s Russian strikes.—AFP