Russian shelling “crushes” Kherson

Russian airstrikes killed at least 15 people on Friday and forced the evacuation of hospitals in the Ukrainian city of Kherson, in an offensive that in recent days has left many large cities across the country without electricity, water and heating.

According to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zeenski, there were still “more than six million” households without electricity as of Friday night, despite efforts to reconnect to the grid at a time when temperatures touch zero degrees Celsius.

The bombardments on Friday continued to crush Kherson (south), the first major city to fall into Russian hands after the invasion on February 24, but recaptured by the Ukrainians on November 11, in the last major setback of the Russian president’s offensive, Vladimir Putin.

“Today 15 inhabitants of the city of Kherson were killed and 35 were injured, including a child, due to enemy shelling,” Galyna Lugova, an official with the local military administration, said on social media.

The “constant” Russian attacks also forced the evacuation of hospitals in the city, he added.

Another bombardment had already caused 11 deaths and almost 50 injuries on Thursday night in this town.

Millions without light

“More than six million homes” are still affected by power outages, two days after a massive Russian bombardment of the country’s energy infrastructure, Zelensky said.

“Tonight, there are blackouts in most regions [de Ucrania] and in kyiv”, the capital, indicated the president in his daily report on social networks.

Zelensky denounced the strategy of destroying infrastructure at a time when temperatures drop due to the arrival of winter as a “crime against humanity” and his Western allies defined it as “war crimes.”

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“We have to endure this winter, a winter that the whole world will remember,” Zelensky said.

Russia assures that it only targets military infrastructures and accuses the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense of the blackouts.

After the shelling on Wednesday, Ukrainian engineers continue to repair the damage.

“A third of kyiv’s homes are already heated,” said the capital’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko. Meanwhile, “half of the users are still without power,” he added.

Albina Bilogub, a neighbor who was left without gas or heating, explained that her children were sleeping together in the same room to stay warm.

“This is our life. A sweater, another sweater and another one. This is how we live now,” she recounted.

hardest moment

The chairman of the board of directors of the national electricity operator, Ukrenergo, Volodimir Kudriski, considered that the Ukrainian energy system had “passed the most difficult moment” after the attack.

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