Ukraine battles to restore power
Ukraine yesterday struggled to repair its battered power and water services after Russia targeted the electricity grid with dozens of cruise missiles and temperatures plunged.
The Ukrainian energy system is on the brink of collapse and millions have been subjected to emergency blackouts for weeks due to systematic Russian bombardments of the grid.
The World Health Organisation has warned of "life-threatening" consequences and estimated that millions could leave their homes as a result.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said more than two-thirds of the capital was still cut off despite municipal workers in Kyiv restoring some water service overnight.
"Seventy percent of the capital remains without electricity," Klitschko said. "Energy companies are making every effort to return it as soon as possible," he added.
Kyiv shivered yesterday as temperatures hovered just above zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) with some rain.
Ukraine's military accused Russian forces of firing around 70 cruise missiles at targets across the country on Wednesday and of deploying attack drones.
Ten people were killed and around 50 wounded, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin told local media.
But Russia's defence ministry denied striking any targets inside Kyiv and said damage in the capital was the result of Ukrainian and foreign air defence systems. "Not a single strike was made on targets within the city of Kyiv," it said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the United Nations Security Council to act against Russia over air strikes on civilian infrastructure.
"When we have the temperature below zero, and scores of millions of people without energy supplies, without heating, without water, this is an obvious crime against humanity," Zelensky told the UNSC late Wednesday via video-link.
Moscow's targeting of power facilities is their bid to force capitulation after nine months of war that has seen Russian forces fail in most of their stated territorial objectives.
"So many victims, so many houses ruined," 52-year-old Iryna Shyrokova told AFP in Vyshgorod on the outskirts of Kyiv after Wednesday's Russian strikes.