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Kyiv warns of long energy shortages after Russia strikes

Update : 17 Dec 2022, 21:57

Ukraine is working on restoring basic heat and electricity after a barage of Russian air strikes left several cities in darkness and below-freezing temperatures.

War-battered Ukraine strived to restore electricity to its critical infrastructure and heating systems after a new wave of Russian air strikes on Friday compromised the power grids in major cities.

Ukraine's national energy provider said its systems has lost over 50% of its capacity after Russian strikes targeted the "backbone networks and generational facilities," imposing emergency blackouts.

It went on to warn that the extent of the damage in the north, south and centre of the country meant it could take longer to restore supplies than after previous attacks. "Priority will be given to critical infrastructure: hospitals, water supply facilities, heat supply facilities, sewage treatment plants," Ukrenergo's statement read.

Meanwhile Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko said that only a third of the capital's residents had functional heat or water.

Residents wrapped themselves up in coats and ran for the shelter of underground metros as air sirens rang in the air.

Russia fired 74 missiles on Friday, 60 of which were shot down by anti-aircraft defences, according to the Ukrainian army. Kyiv underwent one of the biggest missile attacks since the beginning of the invasion with 40 incoming missiles. Ukraine's forces shot down 37 of these.

As of early Saturday morning, the capital city's metro and water systems were back in service. Heatings has been restored to half the city while electricity returned to two-thirds. The restorations came with a warning: "But schedules of emergency outages are being implemented," the mayor wrote on the Telegram messaging app. "Because the deficit of electricity is significant."

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