Kyiv: Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated from an area around the strategic town of Kherson as heavy fighting and attacks on power infrastructure continue, Moscow-appointed authorities in southern Ukraine said Thursday.
Governor of Kherson Vladimir Saldo said more than 70,000 people in the area had been displaced. Ukraine launched an offensive to reclaim Kherson which was captured by Russian forces in the early days of the conflict.
Members of the regional administration were included in the evacuation, Deputy Governor Kirill Stremousov said. Monuments were also removed along with the remains of Grigory Potemkin, the Russian general who founded Kherson in the 18th century, which had been kept in the city’s St. Catherine’s Church.
Fighting intensified around Kherson, where Ukrainian forces are attacking the Russian position west of the Dnieper which divides the country, as well as in parts of the eastern Donetsk region, while Russia has maintained its attacks on the energy infrastructure before winter.
A Russian drone attack early Thursday hit an energy facility, causing a fire, said Oleksiy Kuleba, governor of the Kyiv region.
“The Russians are using drones and missiles to destroy Ukraine’s energy system before winter and terrorize civilians,” Kuleba said in televised remarks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly thanked the country’s electricity workers for maintaining electricity supplies as authorities ordered power cuts in many parts of the country and urged households to limit consumption.
“I thank all workers in the energy sector: our rescuers, repair crews, local government officials and private companies who are working diligently to maintain our energy system despite all threats,” Zelenskyy said in his late night talk Wednesday night.
In a likely response to Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, the head of the port city of Sevastopol in Russia’s annexed Crimea region said a power plant just outside the city suffered minor damage during of a drone attack.
Mikhail Razvozhayev said a drone hit a transformer and caused a fire, but did not affect its general operation and did not interrupt the power supply.
Annexed by Russia in 2014, Crimea — a region slightly larger than Sicily – faced drone attacks and explosions. In a major setback for Russia, on October 8, a powerful truck bomb blew up a section of a strategic bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland.
The war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis are likely to cause global demand for fossil fuels to spike or flatten, according to a report released Thursday by the Paris-based International Energy Agency, largely in due to the fall in Russian exports.
“Today’s energy crisis is causing a shock of unprecedented magnitude and complexity,” the IEA said in releasing its annual report, the World Energy Outlook.
The shock to governments, the report said, was forcing advanced economies to accelerate structural shifts towards renewable energy sources.



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