Ukrainego, the power grid operator, said Ukrainian energy use fell by more than 50 percent after the Russian attacks.
Ukraine’s power grid operator Orinego said in a statement that it had lifted the state of emergency it declared earlier in the day after the Russian attacks cut nationwide energy consumption by more than 50 percent.
A senior Ukrainian official said earlier that emergency shutdowns of electricity had begun across the country after Russian missiles hit energy facilities in several regions.
Oknergo warned Ukrainians that restoring electricity may take longer after dozens of Russian missiles were fired at key infrastructure sites in the north, south and center of the country.
“Priority will be given to critical infrastructure: hospitals, water supply facilities, heat supply facilities and wastewater treatment plants,” the National Energy Company said in a statement on Friday.
Ukrainian officials said Russia sent more than 70 missiles at Ukraine in one of its largest attacks since the start of the war, knocking out power in the second-largest city and forcing Kyiv to implement nationwide blackouts.
They added that three people were killed when a residential building was hit in the central city of Kryvyi Rih, and another was killed in shelling in the southern Kherson region.
Officials installed by Russia in occupied eastern Ukraine said 12 people had been killed in Ukrainian bombing.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an evening video address, said Russia still had enough missiles to conduct several major attacks, urging Western allies once again to provide Kyiv with more and better air defense systems.
Zelensky said that Ukraine was strong enough to return to normal. “Whatever the missile worshipers from Moscow count on, it will not change the balance of power in this war,” he said.
Kyiv warned on Thursday that Moscow was planning a new all-out offensive early next year, nearly a year after its February 24 invasion, in which it devastated large areas of Ukraine with missiles and artillery, but captured little of it.
Russia has rained missiles on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure almost weekly since early October after several battlefield defeats, but Friday’s attack appeared to do the most damage, with snow and ice now common.
Moscow says the attacks are aimed at disrupting the Ukrainian army. Ukrainians call it a war crime.
They want to destroy us and make us slaves. But we will not give up. “We will endure,” said Lydia Vasilieva, 53, as she headed to a shelter at a railway station in the capital, Kyiv.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said late Friday that only a third of the city’s population has heat and water and 40 percent of electricity. He added that the metro network, which is a vital artery for transportation, remains closed.
Zelensky urged Ukrainians to be patient and called on regional authorities to be more creative in arranging emergency energy supplies.
The northeastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, was also hit hard, with the attacks cutting off electricity, heating and running water. Ukraine’s Interfax news agency quoted the region’s governor, Oleh Sinyhopov, as saying later on Friday that 55 percent of electricity in the city and 85 percent of the surrounding area had been restored.
Life must go on, said Lyudmila Kovelko, a cook at an emergency food distribution point. We heard explosions and the electricity went out. People need to be fed. We cook on a wood stove.”
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”