Russian Shelling Targets Energy Infrastructure In Ukraine Causing Blackouts, Kyiv Retaliates

New Delhi: The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has taken a devastating toll, with two people killed and at least 10 more wounded in Russian shelling. Moscow’s targeted strikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities have crippled production, leading to widespread blackouts and energy rationing within the country. Simultaneously, Ukraine also fired more than 60 drones at southern Russia, reportedly targeting oil refineries and a military air base, marking a concerning escalation in tactics. Kyiv claimed to have hit two oil refineries and a military air base.

“Russian armed forces staged another massive missile attack on Ukraine,” the Ukrainian army said, reported AFP.

“The enemy has once again attacked the country’s energy infrastructure. In particular, facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Lviv regions were attacked. There is damage to equipment,” Energy Minister German Galushchenko said in a Facebook post.

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The recent missile strikes on Ukraine’s western regions, bordering the EU, by Moscow have raised alarms, despite the areas being distant from the frontlines. Ukraine’s air force reported intercepting a significant portion of the missiles, highlighting ongoing defensive efforts.

The timing, just before Russia’s Victory Day celebrations on May 9 and amid anticipation of US military support by Ukraine, suggests a strategic escalation by Moscow. Urgent diplomatic action is necessary to curb further aggression and maintain stability in the region.

The recent overnight strikes severely damaged equipment at four thermal power plants operated by DTEK, according to the power operator. Additionally, Ukrenergo, the state electricity operator, took measures by disconnecting its main overhead power line in the western region of the country. In response to the damage and potential strain on the power grid, officials have urged energy users to limit their power usage, reported AFP.

Situation In Ukraine Continues To Deteriorate

“We ask all consumers to consume electricity sparingly. Industry is asked to maximise electricity imports and use alternative power sources,” Ukrenergo said in a statement.

The situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, with officials in the western Lviv region urging residents to conserve energy by refraining from using appliances like kettles, irons, washing machines, and microwaves during peak hours. Meanwhile, separate shelling incidents have resulted in casualties across the country.

In the northeastern Kharkiv region, one person was killed in an attack on a village near the Russian border, as reported by Ukraine’s state emergency services agency. Additionally, in the southern Kherson region, one person was killed and eight others wounded in shelling, according to Ukraine’s national police.

Overnight missile strikes also caused injuries, with two people wounded in the central city of Kryvyi Rih and one in the northeastern Kharkiv region, underscoring the widespread impact of the escalating violence on civilians.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has escalated further, with Ukraine reportedly launching a drone attack on Russia’s southern Krasnodar region overnight. According to a Ukrainian defence source speaking to AFP, the drones targeted two oil refineries and a military airfield in the region, situated just east of the annexed Crimean peninsula.

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“Ukrainian drones struck the atmospheric distillation columns of the Ilsky and Slovyansky refineries. These are key technological facilities,” the source said.

Reports from Russian officials in the Krasnodar region confirm a fire at an oil refinery in the town of Slavyansk-on-Kuban. As a result, the refinery has partially suspended operations, as reported by Russian state media citing a company representative. Videos and photos circulating on social media depict a significant fire that raged overnight at the site following a series of blasts. Moscow has attributed the incident to Ukraine, alleging it as one of the largest attempted drone attacks on the Krasnodar region, reported AFP.

“Air defences destroyed and intercepted 66 Ukrainian drones over the territory of the Krasnodar region and two over the Crimean peninsula,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The governor of Russia’s Belgorod border region reported on Saturday that five individuals sustained injuries when a Ukrainian drone crashed onto a road in a village just a few kilometers from the border. This incident adds to the growing list of casualties and damages resulting from the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

In recent months, Kyiv has targeted several Russian oil refineries in the western part of the country, despite concerns expressed in Washington about the potential escalation of tensions and the impact on global oil prices. Ukraine asserts that targeting Russia’s vital energy sector is legitimate, citing it as a significant source of fuel and funding for the Russian military

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