The Russian military conducted a new set of “colossal” missile strikes on Ukraine’s already battered energy infrastructure to degrade the will of Ukrainians to fight and force capitulation.
HARD BLOW TO UKRAINE’S ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE
Vitaliy Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said in his Telegram post that “70% of the capital still remains without electricity.” He also mentioned that he was not ruling out a worst-case scenario where the city has to survive without electricity, heat, or water. More than 40% of Ukraine’s energy facilities have been damaged by Russian missile strikes in recent weeks.
The Ukraine Air Force Command reported that 70 cruise missiles and five drones were launched targeting critical infrastructure on November 23. The Air Defense System shot down 51 of the Russian cruise missiles and all five drones. Since early October, Russia launched missiles with the motive of destroying Ukraine’s power grid.
The Ukrainian General staff said in a written statement that the Russian forces struck residential buildings, thermal power plants, and substations in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Lviv, and Zaporizhia oblasts, causing widespread disruptions to energy, heating, and water supplies. After the latest wave of missile strikes by Russia, Ukrainian officials reported that three nuclear power plants on the territory held by Ukraine have been switched off.
NOVEMBER 24 – SATELLITE IMAGERY
The latest satellite images depict how Ukraine has been booted into complete darkness after Putin’s aggressive missile strike targeting power stations in the country. The strikes on Wednesday left three power plants disconnected from the national grid and went into full blackout mode.
By comparing the satellite images of February 24 and November 24 (nine months since the war started), using NASA’s satellite tool Worldview, it is evident that Russia’s latest missile strikes have left Ukraine dark in the middle of other brightly lit countries. The difference in the images stands the stark vision of what was once a buzzing country with bright and gleaming cities that has now been plunged into utter darkness by war.
A series of such “brutal” attacks since early October targeting critical infrastructure forced millions of people to go without light, water, or heating for days, just at the onset of winter.
On February 24, right before Vladimir Putin waged war, the major population centers including Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv of Ukraine can be seen as brightly lit and visible from space along with its European neighbours.
The latest satellite images taken on November 24 show the same cities only dimly lit. Right above the Black Sea, Ukraine appears as a large and dark space beside its bustling and illuminated neighbours.
The capital city, Kyiv, which is home to at least three million people, stands out but is far dimmer since the beginning of the year. The eastern region of Ukraine, where the war has been intense, appears to be in a total blackout- without any lights. Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv are almost imperceptible.
This image, in contrast to the Russian capital, Moscow in the northeast, can be seen dazzling than all other cities in the region. Other areas of Minsk and Homyel in Belarus, and Warsaw in Poland also shine in the satellite image when compared to Kyiv and other major cities in Ukraine.
ZELENSKY “URGENT” MEETING WITH U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL
Ukrainian President Zelensky called for an “urgent meeting” with the United Nations Security Council to discuss the latest strikes and blamed Russia for war crimes against humanity. “Murder of civilians, ruining of civilian infrastructure are acts of terror. Ukraine keeps demanding a resolute response of the international community to these crimes,” he says.
In his nightly video address, he mentioned that “Together we have endured nine months of full-scale war and Russia has not found a way to break us and will not find one”. He adds, “The systematic damage to our energy system from strikes by the Russian terrorists is so considerable that all our people and businesses should be mindful and redistribute their consumption throughout the day.”
He urged the UNSC to support the Ukrainian “formula of peace” following the Russian barrage with missiles and Iranian drones that have pushed the grid system to the brink of collapse. Zelensky emphasized the need for a “modern and effective air and missile defense system” and that there should be “no room for terror” in the world.
The U.N. ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield said, “The United States and our allies will continue to stand with Ukraine in its time of need – for as long as it takes” while condemning Putin’s motives as “dark” and “cold-blooded” and stating such attacks on infrastructure as “a shameful escalation in Russia’s already brutal, unjustifiable war.” Russian President Putin is weaponizing the winter to inflict suffering on the Ukrainian people.
During the winter months, temperatures are starting to dip below zero and are expected to plummet to -20 degrees Celsius or (-4 Fahrenheit) or even lower in some regions.
At least seven people have been killed at Vyshgorod, said Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv Regional Military Administration. And the fresh missile strikes killed four people in the southern city of Kherson.
Satellite pictures by NASA show Ukraine in utter darkness in contrast to brightly lit neighbouring countries in Europe.