Kharkiv left in the dark as the power plant struck

On Sunday, the city of Kharkiv appeared to be in a total blackout, with no visible lights in the city.

Cars drove through pitch-black streets, and the few occasional pedestrians used a flashlight or cellphone to light their way.

On the western outskirts of Kharkiv, a fire raged at a power station that was reportedly hit during a strike, releasing smoke illuminated by the orange glow of the flames.

Ukraine pushed its swift counteroffensive into the country’s northeast even as a nuclear power plant in the Russian-occupied south was completely shut down in a bid to prevent a radioactive disaster as fighting raged in the region.

But officials said Russia retaliated against Ukraine’s infrastructure on Sunday night, causing widespread power cuts, with Kharkiv and Donetsk regions losing power.

Ukraine’s moves to reclaim Russian-occupied areas in the Kharkiv region forced Moscow to withdraw troops to avoid encirclement as the war marked its 200th day on Sunday.

The withdrawal marked the biggest battlefield success for Kyiv forces since they thwarted Russia’s bid to seize the capital at the start of the war.

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Christi C. Elwood