Ukrainian power outages after Russian missile attacks

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Ukrainian power outages after Russian missile attacks

Two days after a series of Russian missile attacks on the country's civilian infrastructure, much of Ukraine remained without electricity, heat and water.

Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitschko said 60% of households in the city of 3 million had no power and there were rolling blackouts around the country, as engineers struggled to repair transformers and transmission lines damaged or destroyed by cruise missiles on Wednesday.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said basic utilities were gradually being restored, but there were problems with water supplies in 15 regions.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Trk, said Russian strikes on critical infrastructure had killed at least 77 people since October.

Millions of people are being plunged into extreme hardship and appalling conditions of life by these strikes, said T rk in a statement. This raises serious problems under international humanitarian law, which requires a concrete and direct military advantage for each object attacked. In his Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, he did not deny that Russia was attacking Ukraine's energy infrastructure, but blamed Kyiv on the grounds that it had not bowed to Russian demands, which he did not specify. Zelenskiy's government has pledged not to accept peace terms that leave Russia in control of Ukrainian territory.

Zelenskiy said in his nightly address on Thursday that the attacks would not break the will of the Ukrainian population. Together we endured nine months of full-scale war and Russia has not found a way to break us, and will not find one, he said.

Three nuclear power stations still under Ukrainian control were back in operation after an unprecedented shutdown on Wednesday. Petro Kotin, head of the state nuclear energy company, Energoatom, told the Guardian that two reactors had not yet rejoined the power grid because of defects in turbogenerators. Kotin did not say where the two affected reactors were.

Kotin said that two of the six reactors in the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which remains under Russian control, were in standby mode, but have not yet been returned to the grid.

Russian forces have shelled the southern city of Kherson two weeks after withdrawing their troops to the other side of the Dnipro River. Ukrainian citizens evacuated from the city because of the complete destruction of electricity, heat and water systems, have come under artillery fire as they attempt to leave.

On Thursday, 11 people were killed and nearly 50 injured in the Kherson region, according to the Ukrainian presidency.