KYIV: Ukraine said on Friday that tens of thousands of people were without power after a barrage of two dozen Russian drones damaged energy infrastructure in the centre of the country.

The overnight attack echoed the systematic bombardments by Russian forces last winter that left millions in Ukraine without power, heating or water for extended stretches.

The air force said Moscow had launched 24 “Iranian-designed drones” at Ukraine, where a national energy provider said its facilities in the Dnipropetrovsk region were damaged, adding that defence systems had downed 11.

“This led to a power outage for more than 40,000 subscribers,” the head of the region, Sergiy Lysak, said on social media, adding that two mines were also without power.

The energy provider Ukrenergo said one of its sub-stations in the city of Kryvyi Rig — President Volodymyr Zelensky’s home town — was damaged during the attack.

Around 100 miners trapped underground had been brought out unharmed, regional officials said.

Lysak also said a 37-year-old man was injured by Russian shelling on the village of Pokrovske.

In the northeastern Kharkiv region, authorities said around 64 towns and settlements had been left without electricity by Russian shelling.

Russia has also accused Ukraine of carrying out drone attacks on its territory.

Ukraine launched over a dozen drones at villages in Russia’s border region of Belgorod over the past day, but no casualties have been reported, governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2024

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