Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Massive attack destroys one of Ukraine’s largest power plants


KYIV: A massive missile and drone attack destroyed one of Ukraine's largest power plants and damaged others, officials said Thursday, part of a renewed Russian campaign targeting energy infrastruc­ture.

The Trypilska plant, which was the biggest energy supplier for the Kyiv, Cherkasy and Zhytomyr regions, was struck numerous times, destroying the transforme­r, turbines and generators and leaving the plant ablaze. As the first drone approached, workers hid in a shelter, saving their lives, said Andrii Gota, chairman of the supervisor­y board of the state company that runs the plant, Centrenerg­o.

They watched the plant burn, surrounded by dense smoke and engulfed in flames. “It's terrifying,” said Gota. Hours later, rescuers were still dismantlin­g the rubble.

Speaking in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin cast the attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities as a response to Ukrainian strikes that targeted Russian oil refineries. The Trypilska plant supplied electricit­y to 3 million customers — but none lost power because the grid was able to compensate since demands are low at this time of year. Still, the consequenc­es of the strikes could be felt in the coming months, as air conditioni­ng use ramps up with summer.

At least 10 other strikes overnight damaged energy infrastruc­ture in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said more than 200,000 people in the region, which has been struck repeatedly, were without power.

Ukraine's largest private energy operator, DTEK, described the slew of strikes as one of the most powerful attacks this year, while Energy Minister Herman Halushchen­ko told reporters it was a “large scale, enormous, missile attack that affected our energy sector very badly.”

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