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Two killed as Russia escalates attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure



Two killed as Russia escalates attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure

Russia’s attacks on such infrastructure in recent days have also caused severe power outages.

Russian strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure have killed two people, one in the country’s western Lviv region, the other in an attack in the northeast, officials said.

The attack in Lviv destroyed a building and sparked a fire, Governor Maksym Kozytskyi wrote on Telegram on Sunday, adding that rescue operations were under way.

In the Kharkiv region, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said that an air attack killed a 19-year-old man after a projectile hit a petrol station.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands in Ukraine’s Odesa region were left without power after debris from a downed Russian drone caused a blaze at an energy facility, Governor Oleh Kiper said.

Ukraine’s largest private electricity operator DTEK said 170,000 homes suffered power outages as a result of the attack.

The Ukrainian air force said that it shot down nine of 11 drones launched by Russia overnight, as well as nine out of 14 cruise missiles.

DTEK said five of its six plants have been damaged, with 80 percent of their generating capacity lost, according to Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

DTEK supplies around a quarter of the country with electricity and repairs could take up to 18 months, said Stratford.

“But those six plants are just a drop in the ocean in relation to other energy plants, energy facilities that have been hit by Russia in recent weeks,” he said.

Russia has escalated attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in recent days, causing significant damage in several regions.

Ukrainian energy company Centrenergo said on Saturday that the Zmiiv Thermal Power Plant, one of the largest in the northeastern Kharkiv region, was entirely destroyed following Russian shelling last week.

Around 120,000 people in the area were still being affected by power outages, days after 700,000 people lost electricity after the plant was hit on March 22.

“These attacks are, in the Kremlin’s words, revenge for attacks that Ukraine had been making deep inside Russia, targeting their energy facilities and oil installations,” said Al Jazeera’s Stratford.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an Easter message on Sunday, urged the country to persevere.

“There is not a day or night right now when Russian terror does not try to shatter our lives. Last night, we once again saw rockets and Shaheds launched against our people,” he said.

“We defend ourselves, we persevere; our spirit does not give up and knows that death can be averted. Life can win,” Zelenskyy said.

In Russia, 10 Czech-made Vampire rockets landed in the border region of Belgorod on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence said. One woman was injured when a fire broke out following the attack, said regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

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