Russia launched more missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure on Thursday and its forces pressed offensives in eastern Ukraine, bolstered by troops withdrawn from the southern city of Kherson, which Kiev recaptured last week.
A NATO and Poland concluded that a missile landed in Poland on Tuesday, which killed two people, may have been a misfire by Ukraine’s air defenses. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has rejected that view in a rare public disagreement with his Western allies.
As winter snow begins to fall in Kiev, officials said earlier this week Russia was working hard to restore power across the country after unleashing what it said was the largest bombardment of civilian infrastructure in the Ukraine war.
Explosions were heard again Thursday morning in several parts of Ukraine, including the southern port city of Odessa, the capital Kiev and the central city of Dnipro.
Local officials said two people were killed in an overnight missile attack in the southern part of Zaporizhia, three were injured in an attack in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, and three were injured in Odesa.
“Missiles are flying over Kiev now,” Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Prime Minister Denis Shmihal as saying. “Now they are bombing our gas production, they are bombing our companies in Dnipro and Yushmash (missile factory).”
State energy company Naftogaz confirmed that gas production facilities in eastern Ukraine had been damaged or destroyed.
The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned of a severe humanitarian crisis in Ukraine this winter.
“Millions face continuous power outages and water pumping is also affected due to power outages,” it said in a statement.
Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said an agreement had been reached to extend by 120 days an agreement to allow the export of food and fertilizers from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports through a protected maritime transit route.
The Black Sea Grains Initiative, first agreed in July, aims to help alleviate global food shortages and the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed Thursday’s announcement.
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