Over 1.5 million people in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa are without power following Saturday nighttime "kamikaze drones" pummeling electricity infrastructure in the region, also as blackouts continue surrounding the capital of Kiev and other cities.
"As of now, the city is without electricity," the Ukrainian presidency's office said of Odessa. "The situation remains difficult, but is under control," spokesman Kyrylo Tymoshenko said, but while acknowledging that hospitals and maternity wards do have access to electricity at this point.
"As a result of the strike, there is no electricity in almost all districts and communities of our region," Maksym Marchenko, governor of the Odesa region said while pointing to suicide drones as the chief Russian weapon in the fresh attacks.
Starting Friday, the Ukrainian government said Odesa and southern regions were in the midst of suffering the worst and most sustained power outages due to the latest wave of major Russian aerial attacks. The biggest of these attacks started Monday and particularly targeted much of the south and its power grid.
National grid operator Ukrenergo said "Because of damage caused by missile strikes to power plants and the high-voltage network, the system has a significant shortage of electricity."
According to the latest on Sunday:
The situation has been made worse by severe frost, rain, snow and strong winds, which are causing wires to ice over in western regions.
But the east, where fighting has been fiercest, is suffering most. Zaporizhzhia governor Oleksandr Starukh said: "There is a lack of energy - up to a third of what is needed."
Russia launched 15 Iranian suicide drones against power infrastructure in Ukraine’s port city of Odesa on Saturday. Ukraine shot down 10. But 5 got through. Now 1.5 million people are without electricity. Streets were in darkness - apart from a carousel at the local fair ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/v50h2W2kfr— Deborah Haynes (@haynesdeborah) December 11, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin has meanwhile accused the Ukrainians of waging their own cross-border attacks on Russia's own energy and resources, alleging in a speech days ago its forces sabotaged power lines rom the Kursk nuclear power plant, as well as cutting off water supplies to Russian-controlled Donetsk, which he called an attempt at "genocide".
Also last week, Ukrainian authorities said that Russian forces have continued to play a game of nuclear chicken due their installing multiple rocket launchers at the shut-down Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.