Russian missiles pound Ukrainian energy facilities and defence plant

  • Russia launched a new missile attack on Ukraine
  • Two deaths were reported in southeastern Ukraine overnight
  • Gas production facilities have been damaged, Naftogaz says

KYIV, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Russia struck Ukraine’s energy facilities and a major rocket booster factory on Thursday in a new wave of missile attacks that Ukrainian officials described as terrorism.

Explosions were heard though cities including the southern port of Odesa, the capital Kyiv, the central city of Dnipro and the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia where officials said two people were killed.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the target of the second attack of the heavy missile strike this week included the large Pivdenmash defense plant in Dnipro. He did not give details of any damage but state energy company Naftogaz said gas production facilities in eastern Ukraine were damaged or destroyed.

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President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted video footage, apparently shot on a car camera, showing a driver’s journey in Dnipro interrupted by a massive explosion ahead that sent flames and black smoke pouring into the sky.

“No matter what the terrorists want, no matter what they try to do, we have to get through this winter and be stronger in the spring than we are now, we are more ready for the liberation of our entire region than we are now,” he said.

At least 15 people were injured in Dnipro, three were injured in the northeastern city of Kharkiv and one was injured in Odesa, local officials said. Ukrainian officials also reported heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The mayor of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine said the city could not get warm. Some areas were already under blackouts to conserve electricity after the damage caused by Tuesday’s wind strike.

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The managing director of Ukraine’s largest private energy provider, DTEK, said the outage could last for days in some regions.

Unfortunately, there may be very few hours where there will be electricity,” Interfax in Ukraine news agency quoted Dmytro Sakharchuk as saying. “Two or three hours a day.”

Some Russian missiles are DESTROYED

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, has stepped up attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in recent weeks. Moscow rejects terrorism charges, saying its military actions are aimed at eliminating dangerous people and protecting Russian speakers.

Ukraine says its air defenses have intercepted several missiles and drones shot down over the past few weeks. Kyiv city officials said four missiles and five Iranian-made Shahed drones were destroyed near the city on Thursday.

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The latest attack has prompted Ukrainian officials to make fresh calls to its international partners to deploy more air defense systems. They also said that Ukraine will stand firm.

“The enemy thinks that he will reduce our security by striking power and be able to stab us in the back. This is a stupid tactic by cowardly losers who are ready for us,” Andriy Yermak, Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, wrote in Telegram. “They will not win. We will crush them.”

Additional reporting by Max Hunder, Dan Peleschuk and Aleksandar Vasovic, Editing by Timothy Heritage

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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