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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Russian missile barrage targets Kyiv and other cities

Local residents return to their work after filling jugs and bottles at a public water well in Kyiv after a Russian missile attack left 80 percent of the city without water on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022.

By Marc Santora and Matt Stevens

Russia launched dozens of cruise missiles at critical infrastructure and other targets across Ukraine on Monday, temporarily cutting off water to most of the capital in Moscow’s latest barrage aimed at civilian targets.

Residents of Kyiv, the capital city of more than 2 million people, were directed to wells and emergency water distribution sites, and many lined up with plastic jugs to carry water home as utility crews raced to make repairs. Officials said Monday morning that 80% of the capital was without water and that power was also knocked out in parts of Kyiv and other cities.

By Monday evening, water service had been partially restored. Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said 40% of the city’s residents were still without water as of 6 p.m. local time and that work was still underway to restore their supply. Some 270,000 homes remained without power, he added.

Moscow in recent weeks has repeatedly launched strikes aimed at crippling Ukraine’s energy grid. On Monday, an official at Ukraine’s national energy utility, Ukrenergo, said that power stations appeared again to be a primary target.

Ukraine’s air force said it had shot down 44 out of the more than 50 missiles fired from the Caspian Sea and the Rostov region of western Russia. The claim could not be immediately verified. Strikes hit 10 regions across Ukraine, damaging 18 “objects of civilian critical infrastructure,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Thirteen civilians were injured, the Ukrinform news agency reported.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that it had taken aim at “the military control and energy systems of Ukraine.”

Local officials in the cities of Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv in the northeast, and the Cherkasy region in central Ukraine, all reported that Russian strikes had hit critical infrastructure.

It was the third Monday this month that Ukrainians awoke to an aerial assault across many parts of the nation. On Oct. 10, Russian missile and drone attacks destroyed 30% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. A week later, a series of drone strikes hit in the heart of the capital and other cities around the country.

While Ukraine said it had shot down the vast majority of Russian missiles Monday, the strikes still managed to inflict damage on the battered electricity grid — another sign that, amid setbacks on the front lines, Russia would continue to try to inflict pain on civilians as temperatures drop.

“Russian strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure are terrorism and an attempt to freeze millions of civilians,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, tweeted. “They want to leave people with no light, water and sewage — in winter, in the cold.”

“Instead of fighting on the battlefield, Russia fights civilians,” Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Twitter. “Don’t justify these attacks by calling them a ‘response’. Russia does this because it still has the missiles and the will to kill Ukrainians.”

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