Russian shelling kills 15 in Kherson, Ukraine struggles to restore power

Russian shelling kills 15 in Kherson, Ukraine struggles to restore power

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Russian shelling in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson killed 15 civilians on Friday, officials said, as engineers across the country sought to restore heat, water and electricity to major cities.

Across the country, Russian airstrikes in recent weeks have brought Ukraine’s energy infrastructure to its knees as winter approaches and temperatures near freezing, sparking a health crisis and fears of another exodus.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than six million homes in the country were still affected by power cuts, two days after Russian attacks targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

The country’s national energy company, Ukrainergo, said late Friday that the grid was still facing a 30 percent shortfall, with its technicians working “around the clock” to restore power. But it said it expected coverage to increase over the weekend, boosted by additional nuclear power.

The assault on Kherson, a major southeastern city recently captured by Ukrainian forces, marked the deadliest Russian bombardment in recent days.

City official Galyana Lugova said, “A total of 15 residents were killed and 35 were injured, including a child, as a result of the enemy shelling.” He added that several “private homes and high-rise buildings” were damaged.

“The Russian invaders opened fire on a residential area with several rocket launchers. A large building caught fire,” said Yaroslav Yanushovich, head of the Kherson military administration.

Earlier on Friday, the region’s governor said patients at the city’s hospital and others from a psychiatric unit had been evacuated because of “persistent Russian shelling”.

Kherson city council said it was offering to evacuate citizens to other areas.

The attacks on power stations and other infrastructure resources across Ukraine are Russia’s latest attempt to force a Ukrainian surrender after failing to topple Moscow’s military government and capture Kyiv in the early stages of the war.

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