Large portions of Ukraine have been plunged into darkness this week after Russian missile strikes targeted Ukrainian power plants, knocking out critical infrastructure.
Some reports also say that water supplies have been impacted by the attacks, and that they have killed at least one person.
The blackouts particularly impacted the city of Kharkiv and Ukrainian-controlled areas of Donetsk. Partial blackouts were also reported in regions such as Zaporizhzhia, Sumy and Dnipropetrovsk.
“Russian terrorists remain terrorists and attack critical infrastructure. No military facilities, only the goal of leaving people without light and heat,” said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in reaction to the missile strikes.
— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) September 12, 2022
The strikes follow reports that pro-Russian forces have been forced to retreat from Kharkiv, with the Russian position in the Donbas at risk from further Ukrainian advances.
According to British military intelligence, tens of thousands of acres of territory were recaptured by the Ukrainians after the Russians were “taken by surprise” on the Kharkiv front.
Russian authorities claim that this is not a retreat, but that troops are merely withdrawing to regroup and secure Donetsk.
However, notorious Chechen leader and Kremlin ally Ramzan Kadyrov has expressed his doubt at this claim, voicing criticism of Russia’s military strategy to this point.
“They have made mistakes and I think they will draw the necessary conclusions,” Kadyrov said in an audio message posted to his Telegram channel.
“If today or tomorrow no changes in strategy are made, I will be forced to speak with the leadership of the defence ministry and the leadership of the country to explain the real situation on the ground to them. It’s a very interesting situation. It’s astounding, I would say,” he said.
Putin loyalist Kadyrov criticises Russian army’s performance over Ukraine retreathttps://t.co/xx6CS9q2Rc
— Faisal (@fromadic92) September 12, 2022