Russia attacks Ukraine’s largest hydroelectric plant amid overnight barrage

Russia has attacked electrical power facilities in much of Ukraine, including the country’s largest hydroelectric plant, causing widespread outages and killing at least five people, officials said.

Energy minister German Galushchenko said the overnight drone and rocket attacks were “the largest attack on the Ukrainian energy sector in recent times.

He added: “The goal is not just to damage, but to try again, like last year, to cause a large-scale disruption of the country’s energy system.”

Damaged building
A view of the damage after Russia’s air attack on residential building, in Zaporizhzhia (AP)

The main 750-kilovolt power line to the plant was cut off, International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi said early on Friday. A lower-power backup line is working, he said.

The plant is occupied by Russian troops, and fighting around the plant has been a constant concern because of the potential for a nuclear accident.

The dam at the hydroelectric station is not in danger of breaching, the country’s hydroelectric authority said.

A dam breach could not only disrupt supplies to the nuclear plant but would potentially cause severe flooding similar to what occurred last year when a major dam at Kakhovka further down the Dnieper collapsed.

Three people were killed and at least eight injured in the Russian attack, said Zaporizhzhia regional governor Ivan Fedorov.

Wreckage in Ukraine
Officials work at the site of Russia’s air attack, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine (Telegram Channel of Head of Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration Ivan Fedorov via AP)

Other attacks were reported in areas of western Ukraine far from the front lines. Two people died in the Khmelnytskyi region, according to the internal affairs ministry.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the Telegram messaging app: “The world sees the targets of Russian terrorists as clearly as possible: power plants and energy supply lines, a hydroelectric dam, ordinary residential buildings, even a trolleybus.

Burning bus
It has been described as one of the biggest assaults on Ukraine’s energy sector (Telegram Channel of Petro Andryuschenko, the adviser of the head of Mariupol city’s administration via AP)

Kremlin officials said on Friday that one person died and at least three were injured in Ukrainian shelling of areas near the border.

The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said a woman was killed when a shell landed nearby while she was walking her dogs, with two other people injured.

The town of Tetkino in the Kursk region was shelled, injuring one person, according to governor Roman Starovoit.

Both regions have been subject to shelling and drone attacks in recent weeks and officials have said that attempts by Ukrainian fighters to cross into Russian territory have been repelled.

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