Updated Nov 23, 2022 - World

Russian missiles strike energy facilities across Ukraine, causing blackouts

Street with anti-tank obstacle defense during a blackout after a Russian missile attack on Ukrainian power infrastructure in Kyiv

Street with anti-tank obstacle defense during a blackout after a Russian missile attack on Ukrainian power infrastructure in Kyiv, Nov. 2022. Photo: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Russia launched more missile strikes across Ukraine on Wednesday, hitting energy facilities and causing blackouts throughout the country.

The big picture: Since early October Russia has escalated its missile strikes on Ukraine, targeting the country's critical infrastructure and causing massive blackouts and energy rationing.

  • As of early November, Russian attacks had "seriously damaged" about 40% of Ukraine's entire energy infrastructure.
  • The attacks threaten to leave many Ukrainians without electricity, water and heat as winter approaches.

State of play: Ukraine's Energy Ministry said on Facebook that "the vast majority of electricity consumers across the country" were without power.

  • Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the president's office, wrote on Telegram that critical infrastructure facilities were hit in several areas.
  • In Kyiv, there were "hits on the housing sector and critical infrastructure facilities," Kyiv regional Gov. Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram. "There is a threat of repeated shelling. Stay in shelters!"
  • More than 20 people were injured and one person killed around the capital region, Kuleba wrote.

Driving the news: "The Kyiv region is completely without electricity. There is also a partial lack of heating and water supply," Kuleba said.

  • Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote in a Telegram post that "water supply has been suspended" throughout the city due to the shelling, and that specialists were working to restore water and power supplies to the city.
  • Emergency power shutdowns are occurring in all regions of Ukraine as missile strikes are ongoing, the country's electric utility, Ukrenergo, wrote on Telegram Wednesday.
  • Lviv's regional governor, Maksym Kozytskyy tweeted that there were two strikes on electrical substations there, adding that several districts of the region were left without power.

What they're saying: "As Russia struggles on the battlefield, it is increasingly turning to horrific attacks against the Ukrainian people with punishing strikes damaging energy grid infrastructure, and deliberately doing so as winter approaches," said Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, in a statement Wednesday.

  • "These strikes do not appear aimed at any military purpose and instead further the goal of the Putin regime to increase the suffering and death of Ukrainian men, women and children," Watson added.
  • "It also shows Russia is willing to increase the risk of a nuclear safety incident that could not only further harm Ukraine, but affect the entire region as well."

The big picture: The U.S. Department of Defense announced a new $400 million defense package for Ukraine on Wednesday that will include ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, thousands of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvees and other vehicles.

Meanwhile, Russia launched rockets at a maternity ward of a hospital in the Zaporizhzhia region overnight, regional Gov. Oleksandr Starukh wrote in a Telegram post. He said a baby had been killed and rescuers were at the scene.

Worth noting: The Russian strikes also caused "massive power outages" in neighboring Moldova, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu wrote in a Telegram post.

  • The country's Transmission System Operator is "working to reconnect more than 50% of the country to electricity," Spinu tweeted.
  • Russian strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities also caused power outages in Moldova last week.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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