© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A shopkeeper waits for customers in a small shop to light candles during a power outage after critical civilian infrastructure was attacked by Russian missiles, as Russia continued its invasion of Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine December 5, 2022.
By Nick Starkov
KYIV (Reuters) – All non-critical infrastructure in the Ukrainian port of Odesa lost power after Russia used Iranian-made drones to attack two energy facilities, leaving 1, 5 million people are without electricity, officials said Saturday.
“The situation in the Odesa region is very difficult,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.
“Unfortunately, the hits are very important, so it takes longer to restore power… Unfortunately, it didn’t take hours, but days.”
Since October, Moscow has targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with massive missile and drone strikes.
Zelenskiy said Norway has sent $100 million to help restore Ukraine’s energy system.
Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odesa regional government, said electricity to the city’s residents would be restored “in the coming days”, while a full restoration of the network could take two years. up to three months.
Bratchuk said an earlier Facebook (NASDAQ:) post by the regional government, advising some people to consider evacuation, was being investigated by Ukraine’s security services as “an element of the chaotic war case” of Russia.
That post has been deleted.
“Not a single representative of the authorities in the region has made any calls for the evacuation of residents of Odesa and the region,” Bratchuk said.
Odesa had more than 1 million residents before the February 24 invasion, which Russia called a “special military operation” aimed at “denuclearizing” its smaller neighbour.
Kiev says Russia has launched hundreds of Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones at targets in Ukraine, describing the attacks as war crimes due to their devastating impact on civilian life. often. Moscow says its attacks are militarily legal and are not aimed at civilians.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said that two power facilities in the Odesa region were hit by a Shahed-136 drone.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Facebook that 15 drones were launched against targets in the southern regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv, and 10 were shot down.
Tehran denies supplying drones to Moscow. Kiev and its Western allies say it’s a lie.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense on Saturday said it believes Iran’s military support for Russia is likely to grow in the coming months, including a possible delivery of ballistic missiles.