Ukraine suffers sweeping blackouts, water cuts after latest Russian missile strikes

Kyiv residents queue for water as mayor says attacks cut power to 270,000 homes

Residents fill jugs and bottles at a public water well in Kyiv after a Russian missile attack left 80 per cent of the city without water. Photograph: Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times

Ukraine suffered sweeping blackouts and water supplies were cut to large parts of Kyiv after another wave of Russian missile strikes on key infrastructure.

Kyiv regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba posted to the Telegram messaging app on Tuesday to say that “about 20,000 subscribers” remained without electricity in the region, following Monday’s Russian bombardment of critical infrastructure.

In the message, Mr Kuleba said: “I am grateful to the residents of the region for their understanding” about “planned stabilisation shutdowns”, and said “our energy workers work round the clock” on repairs.

The Ukrainian army’s commander in chief, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, said on Telegram that Russia had launched 55 cruise missiles and dozens of other munitions at “civilian targets” across the country, days after Russia blamed Ukraine for drone attacks on its fleet in the Black Sea.


Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich noted on the same platform that thanks to improved air defences, “the destruction is not as critical as it could be”.

Prime minister Denys Shmygal said the strikes had still caused power cuts in “hundreds” of areas across seven Ukrainian regions.

In a press briefing in Washington, US state department spokesman Ned Price said Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian water and energy supplies were aimed at exacerbating human suffering and were particularly heinous.

In a separate development, three outbound vessels had left Ukrainian ports by midday on Tuesday under the Black Sea grain export deal, the United Nations-led co-ordination centre said, the second day of sailings after Russia suspended participation in the initiative.

The statement said the ships’ movement was agreed by the Ukrainian, Turkish and UN delegations at the Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Centre and the Russian delegation had been informed.

The export deal was agreed by Russia and Ukraine and brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July to ease a world hunger crisis caused in part by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and earlier blockade of its ports.

President Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the programme was a response to a drone attack on Moscow’s fleet in Crimea on Saturday that he blamed on Ukraine.

Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack and denies using the grain programme’s security corridor for military purposes. The UN said no grain ships were using the Black Sea route on Saturday.

Mr Putin told a news conference on Monday that Ukrainian drones had used the same marine corridors that grain ships transited under the UN-brokered deal. Moscow called ship movements through the Black Sea security corridor “unacceptable”.

Former British prime minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he did not believe Mr Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon in the conflict with Ukraine, as it would be “crazy” to wreak “total disaster” on his own country.

Mr Johnson said the act would “immediately tender Russia’s resignation from the club of civilised nations” and plunge the country into a “kind of cryogenic economic freeze”.

He added that he suspected it would trigger an “absolutely hysterical reaction” in Russia itself. – Agencies