February 7, 2023

Putin visits Belarus as Ukraine warns of new attack: live updates

Putin visits Belarus as Ukraine warns of new attack: live updates

attributed to him…Sergey Sobinsky/AFP – Getty Images

KYIV, Ukraine — Explosions resounded before dawn Monday in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities as officials said Russia launched another drone attack targeting power plants and other key infrastructure.

The Ukrainian Air Force said it shot down 20 of the 35 drones launched by Russia, although those that evaded air defenses hit power plants, electrical systems and other civilian targets.

At least four loud explosions were heard in the capital, Kyiv, where residents ran for cover. While most of the drones that flew in the airspace over the city were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses, officials said, those that made it through struck an electric power plant, causing additional blackouts in Kyiv, which was already subject to a steady roll. Power outages due to Russian strikes.

“There is damage,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a statement. “Power and heating engineers are working to quickly stabilize the situation with power and heating supplies.”

By the afternoon, Mr. Klitschko said, heat had been restored for all but 3 percent of the two million people still living in the city.

With an air battle between Russian drones, Ukrainian fighter jets and air defense missiles heard over the capital overnight, officials in two other regions in central and southern Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv, reported drone strikes late Sunday and Monday morning.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the drones used in Monday’s attacks were from a new batch of Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia had received. He cited these details in a speech addressed to the European leaders meeting in Latvia, where he said Urge more support Ukrainian air defences. Although Iran has officially denied supplying weapons to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, US officials said the first shipment was Delivered in August.

By around 5 a.m., the authorities had raised the air raid alert for all provinces in Ukraine except for Kyiv and the surrounding area.

Russia has launched waves of missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s electric power plants, substations and transmission lines since October, in what military analysts say is an attempt plunge the country into darkness and cold With the onset of winter. In the past week, the attacks It seems to happen in the dark While Russian forces try to evade Ukrainian defences.

The latest attack began late Sunday, just before midnight. Vitaly Kim, the regional governor of Mykolaiv, posted on Telegram that Iranian-made witness aircraft used by Russia was flying towards the area. “We have motorbikes,” Mr. Kim wrote, using the nickname Ukrainians have adopted for the tiny motor buzzing with drone power.

But by morning, there were no reports of the drones hitting targets in the Mykolaiv region, located in southern Ukraine.

Oleksiy Kuleba, the military governor of the Kyiv region, the administrative region surrounding the capital, said the drones hit “infrastructure targets and private homes”. The district police said three people were injured in the strikes.

To the south of Kyiv, along the banks of the Dnipro River, more drones flew into towns and cities in the Dnipropetrovsk region, where the military official, Valentin Reznichenko, said air defenses shot down two martyrs. Mr. Reznichenko said a missile attack in the area knocked out power to the water pumps, depriving several villages of running water.

Ukraine’s national nuclear power company, Energoatom, said one of Iran’s drones flew over the nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, located about 70 miles north of the city of Mykolaiv, shortly after midnight. In a statement, the company called it a “totally unacceptable violation of nuclear and radiological safety.”

Maria Varnikova Contribute to the preparation of reports.