Russia launches 'massive attack' on Ukraine's power supplies, with 'energy security under growing threat'

29 March 2024, 12:20

Russia bombed Ukrainian infrastructure overnight
Russia bombed Ukrainian infrastructure overnight. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Russia launched a "massive" attack on Ukrainian energy infrastructure overnight, with Kyiv warning that the country's power supplies were at risk from repeated bombardments.

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The Russian drone and missile attacks targeted ten Ukrainian regions, with air raid sirens sounding through the night. Six people were wounded overall.

Ukraine said that 60 Shahed drones and 39 missiles were spotted. Air defences shot down 58 drones and 26 missiles.

Ukrenergo, the country's state-owned electricity grid operator, said that the attack deliberately targeted energy infrastructure, including thermal and hydroelectric power plants.

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A view of damage after Russian shelling in Kamiansk, Dnipropetrovsk region
A view of damage after Russian shelling in Kamiansk, Dnipropetrovsk region. Picture: Getty

It added that energy use restrictions were in place in the regions of Kryvyi Rig and Kharkiv, while restrictions are possible in the eastern and Dnipro regions.

“Please use electricity sparingly".

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said: "Enemy attacks are becoming more frequent and massive, posing an increasing threat to Ukraine’s energy security.”

Five people were wounded during the attack in Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk region, said local governor Serhii Lysak. The injured included a five-year-old girl.

Russia's Su-34 fighter-bombers' preparation for attack
Russia's Su-34 fighter-bombers' preparation for attack. Picture: Getty

The US ambassador to Ukraine said the attacks showed her country needed to support Ukraine, amid delays to a $60 billion military aid package.

"All night, Russia has ruthlessly launched missiles & drones against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure - now all of Ukraine is under air alert," Bridget Brink said.

"Russia’s barbaric effort to take the power out for millions of men, women, and children continues unchecked. Our assistance is needed now."

Firefighters respond to flames at a house hit by Russian shelling in Kamiansk, Dnipropetrovsk region
Firefighters respond to flames at a house hit by Russian shelling in Kamiansk, Dnipropetrovsk region. Picture: Getty

Poland, a NATO member, scrambled its own aircraft during the attacks on the west of Ukraine, the country's operational command said on social media.

Last week, Warsaw demanded an explanation from Moscow after one of its missiles strayed briefly into Polish airspace during a major missile attack on Ukraine, prompting the Nato member to activate F-16 fighter jets.

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Romania's defence ministry also said an investigation has been launched after fragments that appear to be from a drone were identified on its territory on Thursday evening in an agricultural area of Braila county, close to the border with Ukraine.

It did not provide additional details, although since the start of the full-scale invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, Nato member Romania has confirmed drone fragments on its territory on several occasions.