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Russian missile strikes knock out power across Ukraine

Nov. 15, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 15, 2022 at 5:47 p.m.

By Volodymyr Verbyany and Daryna Krasnolutska Bloomberg News

A barrage of missile attacks targeted Kyiv and other locations across Ukraine, hitting civilians and critical infrastructure in what authorities called the broadest such assault since Russia invaded the country in February.

The strikes knocked out power for some 7 million households in 17 of Ukraine’s 24 regions, with 15 energy facilities damaged, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian president’s deputy chief of staff, said in televised comments. At least one person was killed in Kyiv as residential buildings were struck, with the damage cutting power to roughly half of the capital’s residents, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

The attack came hours after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to the Group of 20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia, demanded that Russian troops make a complete withdrawal before peace talks can take place. Ukraine’s air defense forces said that around 100 missiles were launched, exceeding the number from Oct. 10, when a broad missile attack hit Ukrainian settlements across the country and leveled infrastructure.

“It is clear what the enemy wants, but he won’t get it,” Zelenskyy said in a short video address. “Strikes have cut off energy in many cities of our country; we are working to restore it. We will restore everything and we will survive everything.”

The White House denounced the attacks during the G-20 summit, which Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t attend. As a consensus emerged at the gathering in Bali that Russia’s invasion was unacceptable, President Joe Biden’s top security official said the attacks “will only deepen the concerns.”

“The United States and our allies and partners will continue to provide Ukraine with what it needs to defend itself, including air defense systems,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement. “We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Russian missiles were launched from the Black Sea, a site in Rostov in Russian territory and the Caspian Sea, far to the east of Ukraine’s border, air defense spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said in televised comments.

Areas of northern and central Ukraine were hit the hardest, Tymoshenko said. In Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine, rescue workers were trying to free 500 miners trapped in four mines, he said. Kharkiv’s governor said there was no electricity across the northern region, with air sirens still active in Kharkiv city.

Some Ukrainian cities also lost their water supply and heating as temperatures are expected to fall below zero Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the week. Neighboring Moldova is experiencing “massive power outages” across the country, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu wrote in his Telegram channel.

The strikes came hours after Zelenskyy laid out his demand that Russia clear out of Ukrainian territory – and a week after Russian forces retreated from southern city of Kherson, the first and only regional capital captured by Kremlin troops in the weeks after the Feb. 24 invasion.

“If Russia says that it wants to end this war, or so it says, it must prove it with deeds,” Zelenskyy told G-20 leaders earlier.

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