Ukraine Suffers Blackouts as Russia Continues Offensive
Ukraine suffered widespread blackouts on Saturday after Russian bombardments targeted its energy infrastructure, heralding a further intensification of the 11-month-old conflict in the region.
The shelling targeted key facilities in Kyiv as well as northeast, east, south and central Ukraine, causing emergency outages in “most regions,” according to Ukraine’s energy minister. Ukrainian presidential adviser Kirilo Timoshenko wrote on Telegram about the attacks in Kyiv taking place amidst Orthodox New Year celebrations.
On the ground, Russian troops have increased their offensive in the east, and the fighting is currently focused on Soledar, an formerly 10,000-inhabitant town. Russia has claimed control of the city, but Ukraine insists in its control, although there has been casualties among the civilian population.
In response, Ukraine has asked for weapons and military equipment from its Western allies such as heavy tanks and long-range missiles. In support, the United Kingdom announced it will send Ukraine Challenger 2 tanks and artillery systems to counter the Russian offensive.
The Russian embassy in London denounced the delivery of tanks as only “generating more casualties, including among the civilian population.” However, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskim said the only way to stop “Russian terror” is on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, France, Germany and the United States made promises to supply armored vehicles and reconnaissance tanks to Ukraine. Turkey, maintaining friendly relations with both countries, proposed local and limited ceasefires but no comprehensive peace agreement has been reached yet.