The Dallas Morning News
Russian effort to sow fear a failure
Kyiv reconnects power after missile strikes and carries on, once more
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s capital had most of its power supply restored Friday, officials said, as the country again responded swiftly and defiantly to the latest Russian missile and drone barrage targeting critical infrastructure.
In what has become a familiar Russian tactic since early October, the Kremlin’s forces struck Ukraine from afar Thursday while the ground battles in the country’s east largely remained mired in a grinding stalemate.
The apparent aim of attacking power stations and other infrastructure is to weaken Ukraine’s resolve and compel the Ukrainian government to negotiate peace on Moscow’s terms.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said in an assessment that “these missile strikes will not undermine Ukraine’s will or improve Russia’s positions on the front lines.”
Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said the Russians are striking civilian infrastructure, because they can’t efficiently target Ukrainian military assets.
“The Russians lack data about the location of Ukrainian troops and weapons, so they are targeting civilian infrastructure and using the same old methods of attacking civilians to sow fear and panic in the society,” he said. “Ukraine has survived the winter and Russia’s strikes on the energy system in the spring hardly make any sense.”
Power and water were restored in Kyiv, said Serhii Popko, the head of the city’s military administration. Popko said that about 30% of consumers in the capital remained without heating and that repair work was ongoing.
Power supplies were fully restored in Ukraine’s southern Odesa region, private provider DTEK said Friday afternoon.
Around 60% of households in the city of Kharkiv that were knocked off grid by Russia’s missile strikes on Thursday were also back online, authorities said, though significant damage remained in the Zhytomyr and Kharkiv regions in Ukraine’s northwest and northeast.
Finnish leader visits
In another sign of normality quickly returning, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin made an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Friday.
Marin accompanied President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and senior military officers at the funeral of one of Ukraine’s best-known fighters and commanders who was killed in fighting near the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut.
The service for Dmytro Kotsiubailo, killed a few days earlier at the age of 27, was held at the cathedral of Kyiv’s St. Michael’s Goldendomed Monastery.
“Putin knows he will have to answer for his crime of aggression,” the Finnish leader said during a news conference. “The future tribunal must bring justice efficiently and answer Ukrainians’ rightful demands.”
Thursday’s Russian onslaught, much of which took place before dawn, was the largest such attack in three weeks.
The barrage, which also damaged residential buildings, killed six people and left hundreds of thousands without heat or running water. The Kremlin used a range of munitions, including hypersonic Kinzhal cruise missiles that are among the most sophisticated weapons in Russian’s arsenal.