Russia, after recent setbacks on the battlefield, has launched a barrage of missiles and drones to target power grids in a bid to cast Ukrainian cities into darkness as long winter sets in. Ukraine, which has been patching up its energy systems, is facing a daunting challenge as the war rages on in Donetsk, Luhansk, Bakhmut and other regions in the east.
Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked the US for its financial support, military aid and help in restoring critical infrastructure.
Here are the latest developments in five points.
- After setback in Kherson and gains in other parts of Ukraine, Russia has shifted its focus on four provinces that President Vladimir Putin triumphantly claimed to have annexed in late September. The fighting indicates Russia’s aim to establish control of these regions and Ukraine’s persistence to reclaim them.
- While the battle rages on in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, both in Donbas that Russian forces occupied during the initial phase of the war, the eastern city of Bakhmut has been turned into “burnt ruins” as it became the fresh target of Russian drone and missile strikes.“Bakhmut, Soledar, Maryinka, Kreminna. For a long time, there is no living place left on the land of these areas that have not been damaged by shells and fire,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address.
- Taking Bakhmut would rupture Ukraine’s supply lines and open a route for Russian forces to press on toward Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk, AP reported.
- Meanwhile, Ukraine has been focused on restoring power supply after months of drone, missile strikes on its power grid by Russia as winter bites. On Sunday, President Zelenskyy held a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden and thanked him for the “unprecedented” help the US is providing to restore energy systems.
- It has been a month since Russia retreated from Kherson in a move that was preceded by a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive. Today, it resembles a ghost town as 80 per cent of the population have fled since the invasion and people who remain face Russian mines and artillery firing from across the Dnieper river.