War in Ukraine: Russia to increase targeting of Ukraine infrastructure as power grids attack cause blackouts

Russia has said it wants to continue to target Ukraine’s infrastructure as the country works to conserve energy as its power grids were hit in the latest round of attacks.

It said it intends to increase its targeting of Ukraine's power, water and other vital infrastructure in the latest phase of the nearly eight-month-old war as Ukrainians stockpile candles, firewood and torches amid warnings of blackouts.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow's forces had destroyed 30 per cent of the country's power stations over the past ten days.

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Meanwhile, Russia’s representative to the United Nations has said Western claims of Iran’s drone exports to Russia are an example of disinformation, aimed at "hitting two targets at once".

St Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine. Recent Russian attacks around Kyiv and across Ukraine have targeted power plants, killing civilians and employees of the key infrastructure.

Speaking after a closed security meeting at the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky said the claim was targeted at sullying both Russia and Iran in the eyes of the world.

Mr Polyansky also said if Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sends experts to inspect Iranian-made drones, Russia "will have to reassess [its] collaboration" with the UN.

He said: "We've observed another round of the disinformation campaign by the Western delegations, as they raised in the council the issue of the UAVs allegedly used by Russia in Ukraine.”

He added: "The aim of our Western colleagues is clear – they attempt to hit two targets at once, inventing an artificial pretext to put pressure on Russia and on Iran."

Mr Zelensky told citizens on Wednesday night they should not turn on unnecessary electrical appliances.

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"We already have significant results,” he said in a video shared on Telegram, adding ten Iranian drones had been destroyed near Kyiv.

“But, unfortunately, there are also impacts. We have new damage to critical infrastructure. Today, three energy facilities were destroyed by the enemy. Of course, we will do everything possible to restore the normal energy capabilities of our country. But it takes time.”

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Mr Zelensky added: “Please limit your electricity consumption and use those appliances that consume a lot of energy. Tomorrow, it is very important that the consumption is as conscious as possible, and thus the schedules of stabilisation blackouts will be shorter.”

As well as energy sources, Ukrainians are also stockpiling canned and preserved vegetables as well as bottled water and warm clothes.

Power company Ukrenergo instructed users to “charge everything”, as outages up to four hours long affected the whole country on Thursday.

One area where power and water were reported knocked out by shelling was Enerhodar, the southern city is next to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, one of the war's most worrying flashpoints.

Missiles also severely damaged an energy facility near Mr Zelensky's hometown of Kryvyi Rih in south-central Ukraine, cutting power to villages, towns and to one city district, the regional governor said.

Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said Thursday marked the start of the heating season for Kyiv. Most urban centres in Ukraine – as well as other former Soviet countries – use a Communist-era central system controlled by the city that provides heat for apartment buildings and businesses.

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