The spate of Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure has knocked out power in large areas of the war-torn country as well as parts of neighboring Moldova.
In Kyiv, where water supplies were also cut off, at least four civilians were killed and nine wounded, officials said, when a rocket hit a two-story building on Wednesday.
Attacks on critical infrastructure by Moscow continue to be reported in many regions as part of its campaign to cripple Ukraine’s essential services ahead of winter.
Before the latest wave of attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian attacks had already damaged about half of Ukraine’s infrastructure.
Ukrainian officials say they believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is hoping that the misery of unheated and unlit homes in the cold and darkness of winter will turn public opinion against the continuation of the war. But he says it is having the opposite effect and is strengthening Ukraine’s resolve.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Wednesday that “one of the capital’s infrastructure has been damaged” and that there were “several more explosions in different districts” of the city.
Power outages also affected the northern city of Kharkiv, the western city of Lviv, the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine and the Odesa region in the south.
Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian ministerial adviser, said the attacks occurred after the European Parliament announced Russia is a “state sponsor of terrorism”.
The rockets hit Kyiv just after the European Parliament recognized Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
confirm received. pic.twitter.com/cwpI7ZJEKK
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) November 23, 2022
‘Russia left Moldova in the dark’
In Moldova, Minister of Infrastructure Andrei Spinu said, “There is a massive power shortage in our country.” Its Soviet-era energy systems are interconnected with Ukraine’s.
A similar outage occurred in the country of 2.6 million people on 15 November.
“Russia left Moldova in the dark,” said its pro-Western president, Maia Sandu, adding that her country “must stay on the side of the free world”.
Governor Serhiy Hamali said in a telegram that most parts of the Khmelnitsky region in western Ukraine were also without power. He added that a nuclear power plant in the area had been disconnected from the Ukrainian electricity grid.
Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Kyiv, said, “This was the latest of several rounds of similar waves of missile attacks originally designed to destroy Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure plunging the country into darkness. ” “… there may be more to come.”
He said there is “no evidence” of Russia subverting the will of the Ukrainian people, citing several people he has interviewed in recent weeks.
The latest attack comes hours after Ukrainian officials said an overnight rocket attack destroyed the maternity ward of a hospital in southern Ukraine. A child of two days.
After an overnight strike in Vilniansk, near the city of Zaporizhzhya, the child’s mother and a doctor were pulled alive from the rubble.
The governor of the region said the rockets were Russian. The strike adds to the horrific toll on hospitals and other medical facilities — and their patients and staff — in the Russian offensive, which will enter its 10th month this week.
First lady Olena Zelenska wrote on Twitter, “Horrible pain. We will never forget and will never forgive.”
‘Anarchy of War’
The situation is also worrying in the southern city of Kherson, from which Russia retreated about two weeks ago after months of seizing it.
There are many doctors working in the dark, unable to use elevators to transport patients to surgery and working with headlamps, cell phones and flashlights. In some hospitals, key equipment no longer works.
“The breathing machines don’t work, the X-ray machines don’t work,” said Volodymyr Malishchuk, chief of surgery at the children’s hospital in Kherson. “… there is only one portable ultrasound machine, and we constantly carry it with us.”
Meanwhile, Save the Children has sounded the alarm as cold weather sets in on Wednesday.
“On average around 900 babies a day are being born into a life of uncertainty,” said Sonia Khush, the charity’s director in Ukraine. “The chaos of war is a serious threat to these mothers and newborns. We are hearing of women who have gone into premature labor because of their constant state of stress and fear.
“At the beginning of the war, many pregnant women were forced to give birth in basements or bunkers,” she said. “Now, we are seeing women giving birth in overwhelmed hospitals, away from family members, and in countries hosting refugees from Ukraine. Even though the number of women giving birth in bunkers is down compared to earlier this year The numbers are down, but their pregnancies are just as stressful.”