Russia pounds Ukraine energy sites in latest 'mass' attack

This image taken from a video released by the Ukrainian Tsunami Assault Regiment, Liut Brigade, shows the northeastern frontline town of Vovchansk, Ukraine, during heavy bombardment by Russian forces May 28, 2024.

A Russian barrage damaged a Ukrainian power plant and several energy facilities overnight, officials said on Thursday, the latest in a series of strikes that have pushed its grid to the brink.

The targeted missile and drone attacks over recent months have crippled Ukrainian electricity generation capacity and forced Kiev to impose blackouts and import supplies from EU states.

"The enemy attacked a number of energy infrastructure facilities," the energy ministry said, adding that the Russian projectiles targeted energy sites in four regions, including near Kiev.

AFP journalists in the capital heard air raid sirens ringing out over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday.

DTEK, Ukraine's largest private energy company, said the aerial attacks had caused "serious damage" at one of its plants, without disclosing its location.

"This is already the seventh mass attack on the company's thermal power plant in the last three months," the company said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that those barrages have halved generation capacity in the war-battered country compared to one year ago and urged allies to send more air defense systems to protect vital infrastructure.

  'Crisis this winter' 

DTEK's CEO Maxim Timchenko echoed those calls, and said the power plant struck early on Thursday had already been damaged in a previous attack.

"We urgently need to close our skies or Ukraine faces a serious crisis this winter. My plea to allies is to help us defend our energy system and...

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