Russia’s strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure demonstrate their desperation and powerlessness on the battlefield, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his regular nightly address to the nation on Sept. 12.
According to the president, Russia will try to make this form of terror a regular occurrence, so the Ukrainian government will set up a coordination headquarters to respond to power outages caused by the enemy.
Zelenskyy added the government would also allocate funds for the restoration of buildings and infrastructure damaged by enemy shelling and as assistance to the liberated territories.
He thanked all the rescuers who had quickly repaired damage from Russian strikes on energy facilities.
“Yesterday and today, the Russian army struck Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” Zelenskyy said.
“Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were left in the dark – without electricity. Houses, hospitals, schools, communal infrastructure... Russian missiles hit precisely those objects that have nothing to do with the infrastructure of the Armed Forces of our country.”
He said that the enemy’s attacks are not only a reaction to the defeat of Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast, but also an attempt to prevent Ukraine from stabilizing the situation in Europe.
“Our exports of electricity are something Russia is very afraid of right now,” he said.
“(That’s) because we can bust Russia’s plans to empty the pockets of Europeans this winter due to crazy energy prices.”
Zelenskyy once again called for Russia to be declared a terrorist state, for the eighth package of EU sanctions against Russia to be adopted, and for aid to Ukraine to be increased.
He also said that Russians can still go on vacation to Europe, although no one knows whether there are war criminals among them who have recently returned from the occupied territories of Ukraine.
Earlier, Russian forces hit the city of Kharkiv with missiles late on Sept. 11, crippling a major power plant and killing two employees at the site.
The shock to Ukraine’s power grid caused blackouts across Kharkiv, Sumy, Poltava, Donetsk, and Kharkiv oblasts, although power supply to most of affected areas was restored several hours later.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said that 40 substations and hundreds of thousands of households were left without power as a result of massive attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
As a result of fresh Russian attacks on Kharkiv in the afternoon of Sept. 12, the city was left without electricity and water supply, metro train services were stopped completely, and above-ground electric transport stopped running.