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RFE/RL staff

RFE/RL staff

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many…

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Russia Intensifies Strikes on Ukraine’s Energy Infrastructure

  • Russian strikes target energy facilities in southern Ukraine, leading to fires and damage.
  • Ukrainian air defenses manage to down the majority of drones launched by Russia.
  • Ukraine appeals to allies for more support, including air-defense systems, amid ongoing Russian attacks.
Russia

Russia on April 12 kept up the pressure on Ukraine's energy infrastructure with a fresh series of drone and missile strikes that caused additional damage to an already battered electricity grid amid dwindling Ukrainian air-defense capabilities as critical Western military aid fails to materialize.

Russia in recent days has launched massive air and drone strikes on Ukrainian civilian and energy infrastructure, causing casualties and major damage.

The new strikes on April 12 targeted an energy facility in the southern region of Dnipropetrovsk, which sustained serious damage after catching fire following a Russian drone attack early on April 12, the Ukrainian military and a regional official said.

The energy facility was not identified in the military report, which only said debris from four downed Russian drones fell on the territory of a "critical" infrastructure facility in the Kryvorizka district, setting it on fire.

Ukrainian firefighters managed to put out the fire, but the extent of the damage could not be immediately assessed, regional head Serhiy Lysak said.

Meanwhile, Kherson regional administration head Oleksandr Prokudin said on April 12 that overnight Russian strikes on the southern Ukrainian region damaged a critical infrastructure facility without identifying which one.

Prokudin said 15 settlements across the region were shelled, adding that residential areas were targeted in particular. He said that no casualties were immediately reported but several houses had been destroyed.

Ukrainian air-defense systems shot down 16 out of the 17 drones launched by Russia at six regions on April 12, Ukraine's air force said in a message on social media.

"The Defense Forces of Ukraine shot down 16 Shahed-type attack UAVs within the Mykolayiv, Odesa, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsya, and Khmelnytskiy regions," the Facebook post said.

On April 11, the Trypilska power plant, a major electricity supplier for the Kyiv, Cherkasy, and Zhytomyr regions located some 50 kilometers south of the Ukrainian capital, was destroyed by Russian missiles.

The strike, which left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity, appeared to highlight Ukraine's waning capabilities to repel massive aerial barrages being launched by Moscow.

Ukraine has been pleading with its allies to speed up efforts to cover drastic shortfalls in ammunition and weaponry in recent weeks as a massive $60 billion aid package remains on hold in Washington as Republican lawmakers refuse to approve it without an agreement on deep domestic policy changes.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during a visit to Lithuania on April 11, pleaded with Ukraine's allies to give the embattled country more air-defense systems.

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"The main task for now is to make every effort to strengthen our air-defense system, to meet the urgent needs of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, and to consolidate international support so that we can overcome Russian terror," Zelenskiy wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

By RFE/RL

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