Zelensky: Some power restored after new wave of Russian strikes on infrastructure

People remove debris at a residential area with a playground hit by shelling in Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine on Sunday. Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/EPA-EFE
People remove debris at a residential area with a playground hit by shelling in Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine on Sunday. Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/EPA-EFE

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that some power has been restored in the country after Russian troops renewed strikes on infrastructure across the country.

Zelensky still warned Ukrainians in his late-night address Saturday to conserve electricity and said the stability of the country's power grid "depends on each city and each district of Ukraine."


"The main target of terrorists is energy. Therefore, please be even more careful than before about the need to consciously consume electricity," Zelensky said.

He said that power was cut off in parts of Ukraine on Saturday after the "massive strike" which spanned from the Volyn region in northwestern Ukraine to Odesa, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine.

"Electricity supply has already been resumed partly in Odesa region, partly in Khmelnytskyi region, most of Rivne region has resumed power supplies," Zelensky said.


"There are positive reports from other regions as well. But in many cities, in many districts, recovery work is still ongoing. We are trying to return power to people as soon as possible."

Alexander Štupun, the spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said in a statement that Russian forces had launched 40 missiles and 16 Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones at Ukrainian infrastructure on Saturday.

Ukraine's state energy company Ukrenergo said in a statement that the scope of Saturday's strikes "may exceed" those carried out earlier this month in response for the explosion on the bridge linking Russia to the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

The Institute for the Study of War, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., said in an analysis Saturday that Russia's ongoing strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure are "extraordinarily unlikely to erode the Ukrainian will to fight."

However, the analysts said the continued strikes "will increasingly pose an economic and humanitarian challenge for Ukraine as temperatures drop."

Zelensky echoed such sentiments in his nightly address Saturday, stating that "Russian propagandists are lying when they say that this terror against our infrastructure and people can somehow slow down the active actions of our military or create some difficulties for our defense."


He added that Ukraine does not yet have the technical ability to shoot down 100% of Russian missiles and attack drones but is "already shooting down most of the cruise missiles, most of the drones."

"Only in the first half of this day, 20 missiles were shot down -- Kalibr and Kh-101 missiles, as well as more than 10 Iranian Shahed UAVs," Zelensky said.

The British Defense Ministry, which has provided daily intelligence updates since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, said Sunday that Russian forces continue to reinforce crossing points over the Dnipro River and have completed a barge bridge alongside the damaged Antonovskiy bridge in Kherson.

"Although the use of heavy barge bridges was almost certainly included in Soviet-era planning for operations in Europe, it is likely this is the first time the Russian military have needed to utilize this type of bridge for decades," the British Defense Ministry said.

"Using civilian barges likely provides Russia additional material and logistics benefits, having lost significant quantities of military bridging equipment and engineering personnel during its invasion."

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