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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Ukraine restores electricity after series of Russian strikes

Most of the power supply has been restored to Kiev, officials said on Friday (March 10). The country again reacted quickly and decisively to a new round of Russian strikes on critical infrastructure.

Since last fall, Russian troops have shifted to long-range strikes against Ukraine amid a months-long stalemate on the front lines in eastern regions. The obvious goal is to weaken Ukraine’s resolve and force the Kiev government to enter into peace talks on Moscow’s terms.

The Washington Institute for War Research said in its assessment that “these strikes will not undermine Ukraine’s resolve or improve Russia’s position on the front line.”

Ukrainian military analyst Oleg Zhdanov believes that Russia is targeting civilian infrastructure because its troops cannot effectively hit Ukrainian military targets, the old ways of attacking the civilian population in order to sow fear and panic in society said Zhdanov. “Ukraine survived the winter and the Russian strikes on the power grid in the spring make little sense.”

Electricity and water supply have been restored in Kiev, said the head of the city’s military administration, Serhiy Popko, noting that about 30% of consumers in the capital still remain without heating.

Electricity supply has been restored for more than 90% of consumers in the Kharkiv region, local authorities said. In the Zaporizhzhia region, power supply has been restored for a third of consumers.

The Russian strikes were the largest such attack in three weeks, using more than 80 rockets and explosive drones.

As a result of the shelling, residential buildings were damaged, six people were killed and hundreds of thousands were left without heat or water. These strikes were notable for the wide range of weapons used by Kremlin forces, including Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles. The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes were in response to a recent incursion into the region of Bryansk by what Moscow called “Ukrainian saboteurs”.

Ukrainian authorities have dismissed such allegations and warned that the Kremlin could make such allegations to justify stepping up its own attacks.

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