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Russia Launches Fresh Attacks On Ukraine’s Energy Infrastructure

After a brief hiatus, Ukrainian authorities report that Russia launched a new wave of missile airstrikes on Ukrainian cities on Monday in its latest attempt to knock out power and other basic services to civilians at a time when the country is coping with sub-freezing temperatures.

"The enemy is again attacking the territory of Ukraine with missiles," Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a top official in the office of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has said on Telegram

Tymoshenko says that several homes in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia were hit by missiles, leaving two dead and another two wounded. There are also reports from the southern port city of Odessa whereby a large fire had broken out and the water supply cut off. The constant shelling has forced many residents in the capital Kyiv to take shelter in the city's subway system. 

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Russia has been carrying out large-scale strikes on Ukraine's power systems since Oct. 10 in an attempt to cripple the country's energy infrastructure as the country heads into winter. Temperatures are already below freezing in much of the country, with temperatures dropping to 17 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday morning in Kyiv. 

Ukraine is scrambling to prepare for the winter, with Ukrainian power companies working round the clock to repair damaged infrastructure and restore power. So far, the country is producing about 70% of the energy it needs, with president Zelenskyy announcing that his government has set up 4,000 centers to take care of civilians in the event of extended power cuts. 

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Meanwhile, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has warned that the city could be hit by blackouts that last for days and has urged city residents to move in with relatives in the countryside, where they can burn wood for heat. However, the majority are staying put.

"I talked to our citizens and they are very angry, and ready to stay and ready to fight," Klitschko said last week. 

The attacks are seen as Russia’s attempt to break Ukrainian resolve by making life for civilians unbearable this winter after losing ground on the battlefield over the past few months.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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