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Fresh Russian Strikes Leave Parts of Ukraine Without Power


KYIV, Ukraine—Russia launched one of its most destructive attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure on Saturday, using a fresh wave of cruise missile attacks to escalate its campaign to leave the country without power as winter approaches.

Energy-grid operator Ukrenergo said on Saturday that more than 10 Ukrainian regions had power outages after an attack that the operator says may have caused more severe damage than a barrage last week that was the largest since Russia’s invasion in February.

Ukrenergo said on Saturday that it would begin to limit the supply of electricity to homes in the capital and a number of regions due to the recent attacks, to lower the pressure on the grid and give workers time to repair the damage.

It urged residents to reduce their electricity use.

“Your judicious energy consumption can help prevent forced shut-offs, remember that,” Ukrenergo said.

A resident of the northeastern Kharkiv region walked Friday with her neighbor through her home after it was damaged by a Russian strike.



Its statement came on Saturday morning as missiles continued to fly toward targets in Ukraine, and likely doesn’t reflect the extent of coming power cuts across the country.

The latest barrage left many Ukrainian regions partly without electricity, authorities said.

Vitali Klitschko,

mayor of Kyiv, praised the city’s air defenses for shooting down missiles targeting the city but urged residents of the capital to limit energy consumption.

In Odessa, the governor said two missiles hit energy infrastructure and several settlements in the southern region had been left without power. In Lutsk, western Ukraine, Mayor Ihor Polishchuk said energy infrastructure had been hit and part of the city was without electricity.

Russia’s missile and drone attacks aim to “take away electricity, water and heating from our people during the winter,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published Saturday.

“This could lead to a manufactured humanitarian catastrophe of the kind Europe hasn’t seen since the Second World War,” he added, saying that one of Russia’s goals was to trigger a new influx of Ukrainian refugees into the European Union.

An unexploded missile in the Kharkiv region.



Mr. Shmyhal called on Ukraine’s supporters to expedite the delivery of antiaircraft missile batteries and drone-scrambling systems, as well as mobile generators and water-processing equipment. Western governments should agree on a mechanism to seize frozen Russian assets in their countries and use them to fund Ukraine and support Ukrainian refugees, he said.

In separate comments in parliament on Friday, Mr. Shmyhal said that between Oct. 10 and Oct. 20, more than 400 objects of infrastructure in 16 Ukrainian regions had been damaged.

The United Nations said that between Oct. 10 and Oct. 18, at least 38 Ukrainian civilians had been reported killed and at least 117 were injured by Russian missile and drone attacks. Kyiv has said about a third of its energy capacity had been destroyed.

U.N. Undersecretary-General

Rosemary DiCarlo

said on Friday that attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure were prohibited under international law and that there was evidence Russia had committed war crimes and human-rights violations since its Feb. 24 invasion.

Russia’s attempt to destroy Ukraine’s heating and power capacity adds a new dimension to the conflict, with Moscow seeking to erode the resilience of Ukrainian civilians even as it pushes to stall a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

On the battlefield, a Ukrainian push toward the southern city of Kherson in the south continued on Saturday. Russian-installed authorities in Kherson told residents to immediately leave the city “because of the tense situation on the frontline.” They had earlier billed the evacuation as voluntary.

U.S. Defense Secretary

Lloyd Austin

initiated a telephone call with his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister

Sergei Shoigu,

on Friday, the first such contact between the two officials since May. But U.S. Secretary of State

Antony Blinken

said he saw no willingness by Russia to hold talks about ending the war.

“Every indication is that, far from being willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, President [Vladimir] Putin continues to push in the opposite direction,” Mr. Blinken said Friday in Washington.

Corrections & Amplifications
Denys Shmyhal is the prime minister of Ukraine. An earlier version of this article misspelled his last name in one instance as Shmyal. (Corrected on Oct. 22)

Write to Matthew Luxmoore at [email protected]

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