Russian air strikes destroy Kyiv’s major power plant

Ukrainians urged to minimise their use of electricity

Russia targets energy grids in Ukraine Ukrainian soldiers pass by a volunteer bus burning after a Russian drone hit it near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine | AP

In its latest major air strike, Russian missiles and drones destroyed a large power plant near Kyiv on Thursday. The strikes have also hit other power facilities in several regions of Ukraine. Since Russia's full-scale Ukraine invasion, the strikes have destroyed the Trypilska coal-powered thermal power plant near the capital. 

"We need air defence and other defence support, not eye-closing and long discussions," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Telegram, condemning the attacks as "terror". 

The retaliatory strikes using drones and high-precision, long-range weapons from air and sea have hit fuel and energy facilities in Ukraine, said the Russian defence ministry. 

The strikes were a response to Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia's oil, gas and energy facilities, it said

Since Russia renewed its long-range aerial assaults on the Ukrainian energy system last month, Kyiv's appeals for urgent air defence supplies from the West have grown increasingly desperate. 

Ukraine's air force commander said air defences took down 18 of the incoming missiles and 39 drones. The attack used 82 missiles and drones in total, the military said. 

The destroyed power plant outside Kyiv, a major power supplier for the capital and Cherkasy and Zhytomyr regions, is the third and last facility owned by state-owned energy company Centrenergo, reported Reuters.

The Trypilska plant was the biggest energy facility near Kyiv and was built to have a capacity of 1,800-megawatt hours, more than the pre-war needs of Ukraine's biggest city.

In the wake of the recent attacks targeting power grids and sub-stations, the residents in the affected regions were asked to use minimum electricity.

Ukrenergo grid operator said its substations and power generating facilities had been damaged in attacks on the regions of Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv and Kyiv. 

"The situation in Ukraine is dire; there is not a moment to lose," said US ambassador Bridget Brink, adding that 10 missiles struck critical infrastructure in the Kharkiv area alone. The grid operator issued a statement urging Ukrainians to minimise their use of electricity in the peak evening hours on Thursday so as not to overload the system.

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