Russia launches 7th mass missile attack on Ukraine’s energy system

This photo published by Kyiv Oblast Police Chief Andriy Nebytov shows a Russian missile shot down in Kyiv Oblast during Russia's mass missile strike on Dec. 16, 2022. (Andriy Nebytov)

Russia unleashed the seventh large-scale missile barrage on Ukraine on the morning of Dec. 16, targeting energy infrastructure across the country.

Explosions were reported in Kyiv, and multiple other Ukrainian cities after the air raid alert went off in all regions but occupied Crimea and Luhansk Oblast.

Russia launched a total of 76 cruise missiles at targets across Ukraine, according Ukraine’s air force. 60 of these missiles, a mix of Kh-555, Kh-101 and Kalibr cruise missiles, were shot down by Ukrainian air defense.

According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the President’s Office, Russia hit energy facilities in several Ukrainian oblasts. Due to that, the authorities are imposing emergency blackouts, Tymoshenko said.

Russian troops hit a critical infrastructure site in the Chuhuiv district of Kharkiv Oblast, according to the oblast governor, Oleh Syniehubov. There is no information on casualties and damage yet. Mayor Ihor Terekhov said Kharkiv city is left without power due to the Russian attacks.

Russia hit Kyiv early on Dec. 16, according to the city mayor Vitali Klitschko. There were three explosions in different city districts on the left and right banks of the Dnipro River, and rescuers were sent to the site, Klitschko reported. He added that water supply interruptions have occurred in the city. Ukraine’s private energy company DTEK said emergency electricity cut-offs had been implemented in the capital.

According to Tymoshenko, Russian forces hit a residential building in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. He said people were under the rubble, and emergency services were working at the site.

Later on, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Valentyn Reznichenko reported that the attack on the residential building killed at least two people and wounded five.

Russian military launched 12 missile strikes at Zaporizhzhia, the acting city mayor Anatolii Kurtiev reported. He didn’t provide information on casualties and damage.

Air defense was working in the city of Vinnytsia, and Poltava and Zhytomyr oblasts, according to the local authorities.

Poltava is left without electricity due to the Russian strikes, according to the city mayor, Oleksandr Mamai.

The governors of Sumy, Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad, and Mykolaiv oblasts also reported power outages in the regions.

In Kharkiv, Kirovohrad, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts, several railway stations were de-energized due to damage to the power system, Ukraine’s state railway operator Ukrzaliznytsia reported.

Russia has repeatedly been launching mass missile strikes across Ukraine, targeting the country’s energy infrastructure since Oct. 10. The attacks killed dozens of people and forced authorities to impose blackouts in all Ukrainian regions.

The previous large-scale missile strikes on Ukraine took place on Oct. 10, Oct. 17, Oct. 31, Nov. 15, Nov. 23, and Dec. 5.

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