Russia overnight blew up Ukrainian power plants and plunged a third of the country into darkness in apparent revenge for its armies led east.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to President Zelensky, said strikes at Kharkov’s largest power plant have disrupted power in that region and Donetsk, causing partial power outages in Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk and Sumy. Due to separate strikes, the water supply was cut off.
Mr Podolyak called it ‘a coward’s reaction to the escape of’ [Russia’s] the battlefield’s own army’ while Zelensky swore, ‘Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst—not so scary and deadly to us as your ‘friendship and brotherhood’.
“But history will put everything in its place. And we are with gas, light, water and food.. and WITHOUT you!’
It came after the Ukrainian military launched a stunning counterattack east of Kharkov this weekend — breaking ill-defended Russian lines, diverting Putin’s forces and capturing more than 1,000 square miles of territory.
Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s power plants overnight, plunging about a third of the country into darkness
Firefighters fight fire at Kharkov’s largest power station – one of the largest in Ukraine – after it was hit by Russian missiles
Ukraine says Russian army attacked civilian targets overnight as ‘revenge’ for its army suffering humiliating defeat in east
As of Monday morning, Ukraine was in control of Kup’yans’k – a major logistics hub with railway lines used to resupply its troops in Donbas – Izyum – launching point for the Donbas Offensive – and Vovchansk – just a few miles from the Russian border. .
Petro Kuzyk, a commander whose troops took part in the offensive, told the Financial times that the Russians fled so quickly that meals were still on tables when his men arrived.
“We hoped for success, but did not expect such cowardly behaviour,” he said. “They left their tanks and equipment behind. . . even grabbed bicycles to escape.
‘The complete downgrading of the Russian army made our job easier; they ran like Olympic sprinters.’
The sensational move has been hailed by analysts as one of the biggest counter-offensives in modern history to be studied for years to come.
It leaves Russian forces at risk of being routed across the eastern front, increases pressure on troops fighting a second Ukrainian counterattack in the south, and puts Vladimir Putin at real risk of total defeat in Ukraine.
Amid the power cuts, Zelensky told Putin, “Even through the impenetrable darkness, Ukraine and the civilized world see these terrorist acts clearly.
Deliberate and cynical missile strikes on critical civilian infrastructure. Not a single military facility.
A third of Ukraine was without electricity overnight after Russia hit power plants with missiles, apparently in revenge for its latest military humiliation
Firefighters fight flames at Kharkov’s largest power plant after it was blown up in a Russian missile attack on Sunday night
Firefighters extinguish flames at one of Ukraine’s largest power plants after it was damaged by Russian missile attack overnight
‘Do you still think we are one people? Do you still think you can intimidate, break us into action? Do you really not understand anything?
‘Don’t you understand who we are? What are we for? What are we talking about? Read my lips: Without gas or without you? Without you.
‘Without light or without you? Without you.
‘Without water or without you? Without you.
‘Without food or without you? Without you.
‘Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst – not so scary and deadly to us as your ‘friendship and brotherhood’.
“But history will put everything in its place. And we have gas, light, water and food…and WITHOUT you!’
Videos show strikes that have plunged nearly a third of Ukraine into darkness from power cuts.
Footage showed a strike at a major power plant in the Kharkiv region, and more showed the city’s underground train system at a standstill.
Smoke rises over power plants in Kharkov’s suburbs after attacks by Russians who forged a ‘coward’s revenge’ for final humiliation on the battlefield
Ukraine says power has been restored just hours after the strikes as Zelesnky vowed the attacks will not break his people’s morale
Flames were seen at a power plant in Vilnohirsk, Dnipropetrovsk region.
US Ambassador to Kiev Bridget Brink denounced the strikes, calling them Putin’s “apparent response to Ukraine’s liberation of towns and villages in the east.”
Russia had used missile strikes “to try to destroy critical civilian infrastructure.”
The attacks hit the largest thermal power plants in eastern and central Ukraine – Kharkovskaya and Zmievskaya in the Kharkov region, leading to a lack of generating capacity, according to Russian sources.
The plants are the central direction of Ukrainian homes, meaning the attack was aimed at harming civilians.
“The collapse of the energy system has spread to the networks of the Kharkiv, Sumy, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Odessa regions,” the pro-war broadcaster Rybar said.
“It also affected the regions of Donetsk controlled by the armed forces of Ukraine, the Kiev region and the country’s capital.”
Electric trains stopped “almost all over the country,” and several trolleybuses caught fire in the streets in Poltava, Rybar’s pro-war Telegram channel claimed, echoing demands from other hardliners for more vicious attacks.
A counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces has pushed troops to within 30 miles of the border, amid reports that Russian forces have left tanks, weapons and supplies in a panic.
A Ukrainian soldier passes a Russian tank damaged in combat in a newly liberated area on the road to Balakleya in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine
Ukrainian troops stand in a group, amid the Russian invasion of the country, at a location indicated as Hoptivka, Ukraine in this photo obtained from social media and released on Sept. 11
“This move sends a good signal to hotheads who are making loud statements against the backdrop of the success of Ukraine’s armed forces in the Kharkov region.
So the impact on the enemy’s critical infrastructure must continue.
‘And not only at substations and thermal power stations, but also at bridges over the Dnieper.’
In the worst defeat for Moscow’s troops since they were driven from the outskirts of Kiev in March, thousands of Russian soldiers left behind ammunition and equipment as they fled the city of Izium, which was used by Putin’s forces as a logistics hub.
Putin propagandist Margarita Simonyan wrote: ‘What happened to your energy and light, neighbors?
Russian state television propagandists began blaming a game for the war’s failure amid crushing defeat in the Kharkov region.
Former MP Boris Nadezhdin bluntly told viewers: “People who have convinced President Putin that the special operation will be swift and effective [and] we will not attack the civilian population, we will come in, and our National Guard…. will put things in order – these people really got us all going.’