A day after Ukrainian forces launched a counterattack that forced Russian forces to flee significant sections of the Kharkiv region, the eastern part of the country has experienced a “total blackout,” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accusing Moscow of deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure.
According to Ukrainian officials, Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, suffered intentional attacks on water infrastructure and a thermal power plant, which disrupted power and water supply.
Since there are no military facilities in the area, president Zelensky claims that Russia’s intention is to rob the local populace of light and heat.
There could be an impact on up to nine million people in the area, including in Russian-controlled territory.
“Several towns don’t have access to either water or electricity.” According to a statement posted on social media by the governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleg Synegubov, “emergency personnel are battling fires at the affected locations.”
The evening brought similar reports from Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Zaporizhzhia, and Odesa.
Soon after the news of the power cuts, officials in Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk regions, and Poltava stated that power had been restored.
The national train service reported delays throughout the east, especially in Kharkiv, due to the Russian attacks, which also damaged the railroads.
Russian attacks were an “act of desperation following Russia’s enormous losses and retreat in eastern Ukraine,” according to Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry.
Moscow denies its forces deliberately target civilians.