Russia Unleashes Barrage on Ukraine’s Vital Power Grid Ahead of Zelensky-Biden Meeting

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By journalsofus.com

Smoke rises over Kyiv on September 21, 2023 after Russia launched another round of strikes on the Ukrainian capital. - Vladyslav Sodel/Reuters
Smoke rises over Kyiv on September 21, 2023 after Russia launched another round of strikes on the Ukrainian capital. – Vladyslav Sodel/Reuters

In an unfortunate turn of events, Ukraine bore witness to a devastating nationwide onslaught of Russian missiles targeting its energy infrastructure in both Kyiv and several other urban centers on Thursday. This chilling display of aggression occurred mere hours before President Volodymyr Zelensky’s scheduled meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

Tragically, the city of Kherson in the south of Ukraine bore the brunt of this aggression, resulting in the loss of two lives, while among the seven individuals injured in the latest assault on Kyiv was a 9-year-old girl. A dire incident unfolded as both the child and an 18-year-old woman required hospitalization due to debris descending from an infrastructure facility onto a residential building. Mayor Vitalii Klitschko somberly described it as “a harrowing night for Kherson city.” He further lamented the collateral damage inflicted on apartment buildings and vehicles in residential zones. Simultaneously, in the city of Kharkiv, a place that fell victim to six Russian missile strikes during the early morning hours, two more individuals sustained injuries, as confirmed by local authorities. Moreover, a disconcerting tally of at least 10 people were harmed in overnight missile attacks on the city of Cherkasy, situated in central Ukraine.

What sets these strikes apart is the grim fact that it marks the first instance in half a year where Russia has undertaken such attacks on Ukraine’s critical power infrastructure. This unsettling development coincides with Ukraine’s preparations for the impending colder seasons, which will undoubtedly necessitate increased energy consumption for heating purposes. Historically, in the previous year, Russia initiated a relentless series of assaults on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, commencing in October.

The repercussions of the overnight missile onslaught were deeply felt, causing significant damage to power facilities within the western and central regions of Ukraine, consequently leading to blackouts in various areas.

It is noteworthy that Ukraine’s air defenses valiantly intercepted 36 out of the 43 missiles launched by Russia on that fateful Thursday, as reported by the head of Ukraine’s army. However, despite this significant accomplishment, air raid alarms persist across several parts of the nation, with some Ukrainian officials issuing somber warnings regarding the persistent missile threat.

These distressing events unfolded against the backdrop of Kyiv surpassing the ominous milestone of 1,000 hours of air raid alarms since the commencement of the Russian invasion, a testament to the city’s resilience and the enduring courage of its inhabitants. As Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Ihor Klymenko, solemnly declared on Thursday, “It’s a restless morning,” urging all Ukrainians to diligently adhere to safety protocols.

The incessant blaring of air raid alarms, which have bec

Firefighters put out a fire after an overnight missile attack in Kyiv. - Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters put out a fire after an overnight missile attack in Kyiv. – Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

ome an unfortunate routine throughout the city and on the cell phones of its residents, has prompted government officials to implore citizens to continue utilizing bomb shelters. “Do not disregard the air raid alarms,” insisted Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv City Military Administration, emphasizing that the cumulative toll of a year and a half of ceaseless alarms has left an indelible mark on the capital. He added, “We have persevered through it, and together, we shall overcome even greater challenges.”

These recent missile strikes transpired in the aftermath of a contentious United Nations General Assembly held in New York on Wednesday. During this assembly, President Zelensky forcefully articulated that the removal of Russia’s veto power “must be the foremost imperative.”

Zelensky emphasized, “Halting the war remains an unattainable goal as all efforts are stifled by the aggressor,” underscoring the futility of previous attempts to broker peace. While international allies had previously imposed sanctions on Russia since the onset of hostilities, the Ukrainian president called for the imposition of pre-emptive sanctions against nations embroiled in conflicts.

He argued, “Those contemplating the initiation of warfare must fully comprehend the dire consequences they will face should they heedlessly plunge into the abyss of conflict.” On the heels of these statements, President Zelensky embarked on a visit to meet President Biden, who expressed a keen interest in gaining insights from a “battlefield perspective,” according to the White House. This meeting takes place at a critical juncture as President Zelensky appeals for additional aid to assist his war-torn nation, while the US Congress grapples with the complex issue of how best to proceed. John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, reiterated the unwavering commitment of the United States to support Ukraine for as long as necessary.

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