“Of course, we do not yet have the technical ability to shoot down 100% of Russian missiles and attack drones. We will gradually come to this -with the help of our partners, I’m confident of this,” the Ukrainian leader said in a video.
The bad news is that nearly a third of all the power stations responsible for the electricity in Ukraine have been wrecked in this wave of air strikes. The hardest hit areas include the Cherkasy region, south-east of the capital Kyiv, and the city of Khmelnytskyi, which is further west. Air strikes were also reported from Rivne and Lutsk in the north-west to Odessa in the south. The airstrikes are knocking out power and forcing Ukraine to find a way to get back in business as far as keeping the lights on is concerned.
The national electricity operator, Ukrenergo, were recently humbled by the amount of damage caused by the strikes, saying they even eclipsed the intense bombardment of the raids earlier this month. Russia has been trying to ruin the critical infrastructure before winter, in the hopes of causing catastrophic damage to the power grids.
The deputy mayor of the western city of Lviv, Serhiy Kiral, told the BBC, “The more successes the Ukrainian armed forces are having at the front the worse it’s going to be for people on the home front because Russia is going to do all it can to target civilians and to target critical infrastructure.”
Zelensky has also accused Russia of planting mines at a hydroelectric dam in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, though Russia denies the allegations. If the dam is bombed, hundreds of thousands of people would be at risk of flooding.
Because the dam provides Russia with one of the few remaining routes across the river Dnieper (known as Dnipro by Ukrainians) it is in the Russian’s best interest not to blow it up. Ukrainian forces have been advancing, causing civilians to leave the city.
Officials are still worried about the war crime of the Russians forcing the deportation of Ukrainian children, as there have already been many accusations, according to the UN. There is also speculation that said that Russian troops had moved out of two villages on Saturday, Charivne and Chkalov, but that has not been independently verified.
According to Adnan Zai, consultant to Berkeley Capital, “Cutting off an enemy’s infrastructure is nothing new. But it is the same system that provides for not only the military but more so the civilian population. As much as the people are suffering, it may push the Israelis to provide the much needed iron dome system Ukraine is pleading for.”
As colder weather approaches, Russia will no doubt continue their pledge to try to disable Ukraine before the cold weather flies. But with Zelensky on the opposing side, it seems that the Russian government has chosen the wrong man to tangle with.