Ukraine gradually restores power following latest Russian missile strikes

Zelenskiy criticises Kyiv mayor and says people in capital ‘need more support’

Ukrainian authorities are gradually restoring power, aided by the reconnection of the country’s four nuclear plants, but millions of people are still without heat or electricity after the most devastating Russian air strikes of the war.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Ukrainians to use energy sparingly. He said in his nightly video address that the six million people still without power was half as many as in the immediate aftermath of the Russian assault on Wednesday.

Those attacks caused the worst damage so far in the conflict, leaving millions of people with no light, water or heat even as temperatures fell below zero.

National power grid operator Ukrenergo said several hours earlier that 30 per cent of electricity supplies were still out.


In a rare public dispute involving Ukrainian leaders, Mr Zelenskiy criticised the mayor of Kyiv for doing what he said was a poor job setting up emergency shelters to help those without power and heat after Russian attacks.

Following Russian missile strikes against the power-generating system, Ukraine has established thousands of “invincibility centres” where people can access heat, water, internet and mobile phone links.

In his evening address, however, Mr Zelenskiy indicated that Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko and his officials had not done enough to help.

“Unfortunately, local authorities have not performed well in all cities. In particular, there are a lot of complaints in Kyiv ... to put it mildly, more work is needed,” he said, saying the level of services available in many Kyiv centres was not good enough.

“Please pay attention – the people of Kyiv need more support ... a lot of (them) have been without power for 20 or even 30 hours. We expect quality work from the mayor’s office.”

Mr Zelenskiy also criticised those who he said had lied in their official reports, but did not give details. More than 4,000 centres have been set up so far.

Nine Russian prisoners of war have been freed in a prisoner exchange with Ukraine on Saturday, the Russian Tass news agency said, according to Reuters, citing Moscow’s defence ministry.

In exchange for the nine Russian prisoners, 12 Ukrainians have returned, including three civilians who were believed to be missing.

Elsewhere, the UK Ministry of Defence said Russia’s stock of long-range missiles is so depleted that it is likely removing nuclear warheads from ageing nuclear cruise missiles and firing the unarmed rockets at Ukraine. – Agencies