Russian airstrikes reported in Ukrainian cities

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Waves of Russian airstrikes rocked Ukraine on Tuesday, with authorities immediately announcing emergency power outages after east-west attacks on energy and other facilities cut off electricity and, in the capital, hit residential buildings.

A senior Ukrainian official, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, described the situation as “critical” and urged Ukrainians to reduce their electricity consumption and “hang on”. Electricity supplier DTEK announced emergency power cuts in the capital and authorities also announced similar measures elsewhere.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said authorities found a body in one of the affected residential buildings.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Waves of Russian airstrikes rocked Ukraine on Tuesday, with authorities from east to west reporting attacks on energy and other facilities that knocked out electricity and in the capital , hit residential buildings.

The barrage of strikes – including with missiles – came as air raid warnings were issued across Ukraine. At least 10 regions and cities said they were targeted. The assault followed what were euphoric days in Ukraine after one of its greatest military successes during the nearly nine-month Russian invasion – last week’s recapture of the southern city of Kherson.

As its battlefield casualties mount, Russia has increasingly relied on Ukraine’s power grid in recent months, apparently hoping to weaponize the approach of winter by leaving people in the cold and the cold. ‘darkness.

Among the areas where officials have reported strikes are Lviv, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytskyi and Rivne in the west, and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the northeast. Several missile strikes also hit Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to its mayor, Oleksandr Vilkul.

In Kyiv, video posted by a presidential aide showed an apparently burning five-story residential building, with flames licking apartments. The city’s mayor said three residential buildings were hit and air defense units shot down more missiles. Vitali Klitschko added on his social media channel Telegram that medics and rescuers were dispatched to the sites of the attacks.

Ukraine has enjoyed a period of relative calm since previous waves of drone and missile attacks several weeks ago.

The strikes came as authorities were already working hard to get Kherson back on its feet and beginning to investigate allegations of Russian abuses there and around it.

The southern city is without electricity or water and the head of the monitoring mission of the UN human rights office in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner, denounced on Tuesday a “disastrous humanitarian situation” there.

Speaking from Kyiv, Bogner said his teams plan to travel to Kherson to try to verify allegations of nearly 80 cases of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions that have occurred in the region and “understand whether the scale is actually bigger than what we have”. already documented.

Ukraine’s national police chief Igor Klymenko said authorities would begin investigating reports from residents of Kherson that Russian forces set up at least three suspected torture sites in now liberated parts of the city. wider Kherson region and that “our people may have been detained and tortured there.

“Demining is currently underway. After that, I think today the investigative actions will start,” he told Ukrainian television.

The recapture of Kherson was one of Ukraine’s greatest successes during the nearly 9-month-long Russian invasion and dealt another blow to the Kremlin. But large parts of eastern and southern Ukraine remain under Russian control and fighting continues.

Zelenskyy on Tuesday compared the recapture of Kherson to the Allied landings in France on D-Day in World War II, saying both were turning points on the road to eventual victory.

Speaking via video link at a Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, Zelenskyy said the liberation of Kherson after eight months of Russian occupation “recalls many battles of the past, which have become turning points in wars”. .

“It’s like, for example, D-Day — the Allied landings in Normandy. It was not yet an end point in the fight against evil, but it already determined the whole further course of events. That’s exactly how we feel now,” he said.

The liberation of Kherson – the only provincial capital that Moscow had seized – sparked days of celebration in Ukraine and allowed families to be reunited for the first time in months. But as winter approaches, the city’s remaining 80,000 residents find themselves without heat, water or electricity, and short of food and medicine.

Still, US President Joe Biden called it a “meaningful victory” for Ukraine. Speaking on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, Biden added, “We will continue to give the people of Ukraine the ability to defend themselves.”

In his speech to the G-20, Zelenskyy called for the creation of a special tribunal to try Russian military and political figures for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, and the creation of an international mechanism to compensate Kyiv for wartime death and destruction.

Zelenskyy called the G-20 meeting a “G-19 summit”, adhering to the Kyiv line that Russia should be excluded from the grouping.

“Everywhere, when we liberate our land, we see one thing: Russia leaves behind torture chambers and mass burials. … How many mass graves are there in the territory that remains under Russian control? Zelenskyy pointedly asked.

Christi C. Elwood