Russian missiles pound Ukrainian energy facilities and defence plant

  • Russia brings new missiles to Ukraine
  • Two deaths reported in southeastern Ukraine overnight
  • The gas production facility is damaged, Naftogaz says

KYIV, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Russia on Thursday struck Ukrainian energy facilities and a large rocket booster factory in a new wave of missile launches that Ukrainian officials denounced as terrorism.

Explosions hit cities including the southern port of Odesa, the capital Kiev, the central city of Dnipro and the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia where officials said two people were killed.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said targets in the second wave of heavy missiles this week included the huge Pivdenmash defense plant in Dnipro. It gave no details of any damage, but state energy company Naftogaz said gas production facilities in eastern Ukraine were damaged or destroyed.

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President Volodymyr Zelenskiy released video footage, apparently shot by a car dash cam, showing a driver’s journey through Dnipro that was interrupted by a large explosion ahead that sent flames and black smoke pouring into the sky.

“No matter what the terrorists want, no matter what they are trying to achieve, we must pass this winter and be even stronger in the spring than we are now, even more ready for the liberation of all our territory than we are now “. he said.

At least 15 people were injured in Dnipro, three were injured in the northeastern city of Kharkiv and at least one was injured in Odesa, local officials said. Ukrainian officials also reported fierce fighting in parts of eastern Ukraine.

The mayor of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine said the city had no heating. Other areas were already subject to blackouts to save energy after damage from airstrikes on Tuesday.

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The executive director of Ukraine’s largest private energy provider, DTEK, said long-term outages could last for days in some regions.

“Unfortunately, there may be very few hours during which there will be electricity,” the Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Dmytro Sakharchuk as saying. “It’s two or three hours a day.”

Some Russian missiles destroyed

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, has stepped up attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities in recent weeks. Moscow rejects the terrorism charges, saying its military actions are aimed at eliminating dangerous nationalists and protecting Russian speakers.

Ukraine says its air defenses have shot down several missiles and drones fired in recent weeks. Kyiv city officials said four Iranian-made Shahed missiles and five drones were destroyed near the city on Thursday.

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The latest attacks prompted Ukrainian officials to make fresh calls on their international allies to send more air defense systems. They also said that Ukraine remains steadfast.

“The enemy thinks that he will weaken our defense with energy strikes and will be able to hit us in the back. This is a naive tactic by cowardly losers that we are ready for,” Andriy Yermak, Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, wrote in Telegram. “They will not succeed. We will crush them.”

Additional reporting by Max Hunder, Dan Peleschuk and Aleksandar Vasovic, Editing by Timothy Heritage

Our standards: Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.

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