Russia launches ‘massive’ overnight attack on Ukraine’s power grid

Ukrainian energy facilities have come under massive attack by Russia, in the latest attack targeting the country’s power grid, officials say.

It is the eighth time Russia has launched an attack on energy infrastructure facilities in the past three months, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said.

Air defense systems shot down 12 of the 16 missiles and 13 drones launched by Russia in several regions overnight, the Ukrainian air force said.

Later on Saturday, officials in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, said three people were killed and at least 18 wounded by Russian-guided bombs, and at least four explosions were heard in the city.

Overnight attacks on infrastructure injured two energy workers in the central Zaporizhzhia region and damaged equipment in the western city of Lviv, officials said.

In the southwestern region of Ivano-Frankivsk, authorities also reported damage to homes and a daycare center.

Russia has renewed its campaign of attacks against Ukrainian energy targets throughout the spring and early summer, causing frequent blackouts across the country. President Volodymyr Zelensky recently said Moscow had destroyed half of his country’s electricity generating capacity since it began destroying its energy facilities in late March.

On Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said seven employees were injured and energy infrastructure, including a power plant, had been damaged in a major overnight attack.

Ukraine buys energy from the European Union, but this is not enough to make up the deficit.

This means that most days involve a planned nationwide blackout to protect critical infrastructure such as hospitals and military installations.

“We urgently need to close our skies or Ukraine will face a serious crisis this winter,” said Maxim Timchenko, CEO of DTEK, one of Ukraine’s largest private energy companies.

“My request to allies is to help us defend our energy system and rebuild it in time.”

Zelensky has repeatedly called on Ukraine’s allies to send more air defense systems. He has specifically requested from the United States seven sophisticated air defense systems called Patriots.

Ivan Fedorov, governor of Zaporizhzhia, echoed Zelensky’s message on Saturday morning in a message posted on Telegram.

“We can safely say: the enemy will not stop. Ukraine needs air defense systems.” he said.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that Washington would put Ukraine at the top of the list for Patriot deliveries, ahead of other countries that have ordered them.

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