Ukraine, cities hit at dawn: missiles on Kiev and Lviv. Air raid alarm throughout the country
A wave of Russian missiles hit Kiev and other Ukrainian cities at dawn today. Air raid alarms sounded across regions of the country this morning as missiles hit critical infrastructure and population centers as far as the western region of Lviv, where four people died. In Kiev, 40% of the inhabitants are now without heating, as written on Telegram by the mayor of the capital Vitali Klitschko, with a temperature of 4 degrees.
The shelling also hit Odessa and Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, and reached the western cities of Zytomyr, Vinnytsia and Rivne and the central cities of Dnipro and Poltava. Four people were killed in Lviv, according to the head of the regional military administration Maksym Kozytskyi. “They were at home when the rocket fell. They’re still clearing the debris. There may be other people underneath,” he said on Telegram.
As a result of the attacks, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine was once again disconnected from the electricity grid, according to a statement by Energatom, the Ukrainian nuclear operator, which warned of the risk of an accident . The plant was disconnected last August for the first time in 40 years of activity: it took two weeks to reconnect it to the grid. According to Energatom, emergency diesel generators have been activated to ensure minimum power to the plant for 10 days.
The damage caused to energy infrastructure prompted the authorities to impose preventive blackouts in three Ukrainian regions. “Restrictions have been applied in Zytomyr, Kharkiv and Odessa regions,” Ukrainian energy operator Ukrenergo said in a statement. The company added that the technicians are already working to restore the electricity supply, underlining that “the energy supply is gradually being restored”.
Yesterday the Zaporizhzhia plant was also discussed during the meeting in Kiev between Volodimir Zelensky and the secretary general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who indicated that the UN is ready to offer its good offices as a mediator in the demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. “Safety around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is paramount. I believe that a possible mediation would also be important to seek the complete demilitarization of the area, while guaranteeing that the plant can return to normal operation”, Guterres said in a press conference with Zelensky. The Ukrainian president, for his part, said that with Guterres “we discussed how to stop Russia’s nuclear blackmail and restore the safety of all Ukrainian nuclear power plants, which has been violated by Russia, in particular the safety of the Zaporizhzhia. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant must return under full control of Ukraine: it is a question of global security, not only of Ukrainian security”.
Meanwhile, clashes continue in Bakhmut which, according to NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, could fall under Russian control in the next few days. “What we see is Russia throwing in more troops, more forces, and what Russia lacks in quality they try to make up for in quantity,” Stoltenberg said. “They suffered big losses, but at the same time we cannot rule out that Bakhmut could possibly fall in the next few days.”
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