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Russian forces attack power grid in central Ukraine

Ukrainian rescuers put down a fire after shelling at an infrastructure object in Kyiv, Ukraine on Thursday. Photo courtesy of State Emergency Service of Ukraine/EPA-EFE
1 of 2 | Ukrainian rescuers put down a fire after shelling at an infrastructure object in Kyiv, Ukraine on Thursday. Photo courtesy of State Emergency Service of Ukraine/EPA-EFE

Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Moscow continued its attacks on the Ukrainian power grid systems ahead of winter overnight into Thursday with new strikes in the middle of the country.

Ukraine's national energy agency Ukrenergo said Russia's strikes in the central region knocked out its main power network there. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has argued that Russia's attacks are meant to harm civilians during the often bitter winter season coming up.

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"Tonight, the Russians once again shelled our country's energy infrastructure," Ukrenergo said in a statement on Facebook.

"The equipment of the main network of the Ukrainian energy system in the central regions was damaged. In this regard, in order to prevent the network overload this morning, the Ukrenergo Dispatch Center provided operators of distribution networks (oblenergo) the amount to limit electricity consumption in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Cherkya Skyi and Zhytomyr oblasts."

Ukrenergo said consumer restrictions are needed to reduce the network load and avoid a repeat crash after the infrastructure was damaged by Russian shelling.

In other fighting, Kyiv said Russian missiles struck an infrastructure facility on the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine on Thursday morning. The strike caused a fire but no casualties, authorities said.

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"Windows in 10 apartment buildings and educational institutions were damaged," said the region's military administrator, Oleksandr Starukh. "Roofs, doors, and windows were destroyed in more than 10 private houses. The entire street was left without electricity."

Moscow airstrikes targeted the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Thursday morning, as well. Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv regional military administration, said the attacks hit a community in the region, but no casualties had been reported.

Russia continued to make gains in an effort to capture the key eastern town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. Russia has attacked the town, which once had a population of 70,000, for months with artillery strikes.

Bakhmut sits on a major road leading to the Ukrainian-held cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk and the symbolic victory there could help Moscow advance on those cities.

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