Russia fired more than 70 missiles at Ukraine on Monday, December 5, but Ukraine’s air defence unleashed an impressive performance and shot down over 60 projectiles, the Ukrainian Air Force tweeted on December 5.
The latest attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure proved to have less of an impact than the previous two, thanks to the success of the Ukrainian air defence forces. Nevertheless, explosions were still reported in eight regions, damaging facilities in the regions of Kyiv, Vinnytsia, and Odesa, the Kyiv Independent reported.
“The terrorist country of Russia tried to implement its criminal plan again – to plunge Ukraine into darkness and cold. Thanks to the heroic armed forces and air defence forces, the enemy once again failed in its plan,” said Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, adding that the energy system is still functioning.
However, power outages were still reported across Ukraine after the wave of attacks, with the South and East being the most affected. Zhytomyr and parts of Kryvyi Rih have been disconnected from water and power supply, whilst Odesa is without water. Sumy and Mykolaiv are in total darkness after emergency blackouts were introduced. Meanwhile in Kyiv, 40% of residents have been cut off from electricity, with emergency blackouts introduced to the region.
“Because of the consequences of the attack, some power plants will not be able to operate at full capacity for a while. In combination with frost getting more severe in the coming days, this will aggravate the shortage of electricity in the system. To maintain a balance between electricity production and consumption, emergency power cuts will be introduced in all regions of Ukraine,” state grid operator Ukrenergo announced, the Kyiv Independent reported.
Nevertheless, Ukrenergo said that although the situation is difficult, it is under control, with Ukraine’s power system remaining integrated and operating synchronously with the energy grid of Europe. Repair teams are already working on restoring power to the affected regions.
Russia’s attack killed at least four people and at least two were injured in Odesa. The strikes also damaged civilian infrastructure in addition to the energy facilities.
Neighbouring Moldova again suffered power outages due to the attacks and part of a missile was found on the border with Ukraine. The war has recently spilled over into the country after the two previous mass missile strikes caused blackouts in several Moldovan regions last month.
The December 5 attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is the sixth since October 10, leaving Ukraine to battle regular blackouts as temperatures plummet. The previous two, on November 15 and November 23, saw some of the largest attacks since the invasion and caused billions in damage.
Russia has acknowledged that it is targeting energy facilities in the lead-up to winter to exert pressure and instil panic on the country. The actions have been condemned as a war crime by many of Ukraine’s allies, with Nato recently branding Russia as a terrorist state, followed by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which also recognised Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism on the same day as the missile attacks.