Russia again attacked the Ukrainian city of Khryv Rih with a cruise missile on Thursday A disastrous strike the previous day Destroyed a reservoir dam and caused extensive flooding.
The latest attack on the Ukrainian president’s hometown, Volodymyr Zelensky, causing severe damage. Two missiles hit the same reservoir on Wednesday, which is being repaired, said Oleksandr Vilkul, the military administrator of Krivi Ri. He urged residents to stay in shelters.
It came as Zelensky met with the European Commission president. Ursula van der LeyenHe was in Kiev on his third visit since the full-scale invasion of Russia.
Zelenskiy, in a late-night speech on Wednesday, described Russia’s tactics as the work of “weak and cynical” people who fled the battlefield and harmed “at a distance.”
On Thursday, the Kremlin said it was cynically targeting thousands of civilians in revenge for military defeats. “We are not talking about military infrastructure here. It’s not a surprise to us,” he said, standing next to van der Leyen at his Mariinsky Palace residence.
Russia has stepped up attacks on electricity and utility providers after the shock in Ukraine Counterattack in North East of the country. Within days, Ukrainian troops had recaptured almost all of Kharkiv, including nearly 400 settlements.
Recent strikes in Moscow have cut off essential water and electricity. Earlier this week Russian warplanes fired long-range missiles at a major power station in Kharkiv, plunging the city and surrounding areas into darkness.
Zelensky said he and the European Commission president discussed how to keep their citizens warm during the winter as Moscow cut off gas to much of Europe. Ukraine It exports electricity to the European Union after connecting to its grid in March.
He also called on Kyiv to provide modern air defense systems to Germany, Italy, France, the United States and Israel. Berlin has promised to send Iris-de-Van air defense units, but they have not yet arrived. Zelensky said technology is urgently needed to provide security to Ukrainians.
To mark the visit of the top European official, the Ukrainian president unveiled a fame-style slab bearing Van der Leyen’s name outside his palatial residence. He joins repeat visitors Boris Johnson and Polish President Andrzej Duda in “Brave Alley”. Air raid alarms sounded minutes before Thursday’s joint press conference.
Von der Leyen said the successful Ukrainian counteroffensive around Kharkiv “raised the spirits” of Zelenskiy’s “European friends”. Talks were ongoing about Kyiv’s entry into the EU and the single market, and he said: “We are always friends. We will be with you as long as it takes.
In Kryvyi Rih, engineers began repairing some of the missile damage to the hydraulics system that caused the Inhulets River to burst its banks. Eight cruise missiles struck a pumping station there on Wednesday, in what Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba described as a cowardly “terrorist act”.
According to Kharkiv regional governor Ole Sinyehubov, Russian soldiers retreating from the town of Balaklia blew up a local gas operator. They stole all the company’s special vehicles, Synyehubov said, adding that Ukrainian utility services are working to restore supplies.
Russian units are said to be digging in around the town of Svatov in Luhansk province after withdrawing from neighboring Kharkiv last week. They are strengthening positions on the east bank of the Oskill River, about 10 miles from the newly liberated city of Isium.
Leonid Paceknik, head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, admitted that the “Ukrainian enemy” was now “virtually on the border”. He insisted there was no reason to be afraid, repeating the phrase twice.
The Institute for War Studies says the Kremlin is trying to deflect blame for Russia’s embarrassing military setbacks away from Vladimir Putin. Instead they blame “vague military advisers,” the American think tank said at its recent conference.
It added: “Kremlin officials and state media propagandists are discussing in detail the reasons for the Russian defeat in the Kharkiv region, a marked shift from their previous pattern of reporting exaggerated or fabricated Russian victories with limited detail.”