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Blackouts reported in Kyiv after Russia strikes ‘critical infrastructure’ in capital

Engineers rushing to stabilize the situation amid dropping temperatures; European Parliament recognizes Russia as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

A Ukrainian rescue worker stands by after Russian missiles were said to hit a residential building in Kyiv, November 23, 2022. (Twitter/screenshot: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A Ukrainian rescue worker stands by after Russian missiles were said to hit a residential building in Kyiv, November 23, 2022. (Twitter/screenshot: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian missile strikes hit the Ukraine capital Kyiv Wednesday, officials said, damaging energy infrastructure, the latest in a series of systematic attacks that has caused nationwide blackouts with temperatures dropping.

“The enemy is launching missile strikes on critical infrastructure in Kyiv city. Stay in shelters until the air alert ends,” the Kyiv city administration said on social media. AFP journalists meanwhile reported power cuts in the north and center of Kyiv.

Energy operator DTEK said “emergency power shutdowns were imposed in Kyiv” following the strikes.

Engineers are “doing everything possible to stabilize the situation as soon as possible,” DTEK said. “A few more explosions in different districts of the capital,” Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram, adding that rescue services and medics were on the scene.

The Kyiv region governor Oleksiy Kuleba said Russians “hit residential buildings and critical infrastructure facilities in (Kyiv) region. There is a threat of repeated shelling. Stay in shelters!”

The World Health Organization warned Monday millions of Ukrainian lives were at risk this winter as the country’s power grid struggles under a barrage of Russian attacks.

The European Parliament meanwhile recognized Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” over its nine-month invasion of Ukraine and urged the 27-nation EU to follow suit.

Earlier, Ukrainian emergency services said Russian rockets smashed into a hospital in Vilniansk, a town in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, that houses Europe’s largest nuclear power plant under Russian control.

President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the strikes as Russian “terror and murder.”

Emergency service workers were shown in official footage wearing protective helmets with headlamps attached trying to dig out a man trapped waist-deep in rubble.

“The two-story building of the maternity ward was destroyed,” the emergency services said in a statement, adding that a woman, baby and doctor were in the building at the time of the attack.

“The baby… died. The woman and doctor were rescued from the rubble,” they added. Nobody else was trapped under the debris.

“Grief fills our hearts,” said Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhzhia region.

In this photo provided by the Zaporizhzhia region military administration, Ukrainian firefighters work at a damaged hospital maternity ward in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Nov. 23, 2022. (Zaporizhzhia region military administration via AP)

The strikes are only the latest to hit Ukrainian medical facilities since Russia invaded on February 24.

The World Health Organization has warned that recent systematic attacks on the energy grid are causing severe disruptions at Ukrainian hospitals.

An infamous attack last March on a hospital in the war-battered coastal city of Mariupol left at least three dead in an attack widely condemned by Ukraine and its allies and that Moscow insisted was “staged.”

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