08 May 2024, 14:34

Ukraine suffers new wave of attacks on infrastructure

KYIV, Ukraine, May 8, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Ukraine's air force on Wednesday said it had downed dozens of Russian missiles and drones fired in an overnight barrage that targeted Ukrainian energy facilities.

While Ukrainian troops struggle to hold the front line more than two years into the war, Moscow has intensified strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, triggering blackouts and electricity rationing across the country.

"The enemy used 76 means of air attack -- 55 missiles and 21 attack drones," the air force said on Telegram, adding its air defence systems had intercepted 39 missiles and 20 drones.

An eight-year-old child was wounded in the central Kirovograd region, while falling debris wounded two in the region surrounding Kyiv, authorities said.

Russian forces launched several cruise missiles at the capital, putting the city on alert for over three hours, according to the local administration.

"Rockets entered Kyiv from different directions -- all air targets in the area of the capital were destroyed," Kyiv city's military administration said.

Moscow has launched some of its biggest ever strikes on Ukraine's energy facilities in recent months, knocking out a significant chunk of production.

"The enemy has not abandoned plans to deprive Ukrainians of light," Energy Minister German Galushchenko said, denouncing what he called "another massive attack on our energy industry!" 

- 'Under enemy sight' -

The strikes targeted energy infrastructure facilities in at least six regions, the ministry said.

At least three thermal power plants were "seriously damaged" overnight according to Ukraine's largest private energy operator DTEK. 

This was the fifth attack on the company's energy facilities in a month and a half, DTEK said.

Around 200,000 households faced power restriction in the Kharkiv region, the energy ministry said. 

The city of Kharkiv, just 40 kilometres (25 miles) away from the Russian border in northeastern Ukraine, has come under near-daily bombardment in recent months. 

Also within reach of Russian fire is the city of Kherson, which Ukraine took back in November 2022. 

Overnight strikes left the city "partially left without electricity," the head of the region Oleksandr Prokudin said.

Russian attacks targeted Kherson's civilians railway infrastructure in the morning, damaging the city's station and tracks, Ukraine's train company said.

"Ukrzaliznytsia is again under enemy's sights!" it said. 

Russian forces have ratcheted up attacks on Ukrainian railway infrastructure in an attempt to disrupt military cargo.

Kyiv also says Moscow is escalating attacks from the air and on land ahead of nationwide celebrations on May 9, when Russia marks victory in World War II, and while Ukraine awaits the arrival of crucial weapons supplies from the United States.

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