Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused the Kremlin of resorting to “energy terrorism” as Russian troops make few gains on the battlefield, according to BBC report. 4.5 million people were without electricity as a result of Russian attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure, according to Mr. Zelensky. In recent weeks, Russia has conducted numerous extensive missile and drone attacks against Ukrainian power plants.
As Russian forces are expected to withdraw from Kherson, an important southern city, the attacks happen. After suffering a run of humiliating blows on the battlefield, Russia has stepped up its attacks in recent weeks on the electrical infrastructure in cities away from the front lines.
President Zelensky claims that a third of the country’s power plants had reportedly been damaged in the previous month alone. The Ukrainian government has therefore been forced to urge the public to use energy wisely.
Tonight, about 4.5 million consumers have been temporarily disconnected from energy consumption,” President Zelensky said in his nightly address on Thursday. “The very fact that Russia is resorting to energy terrorism shows the weakness of our enemy,” he said.
“They cannot beat Ukraine on the battlefield, so they try to break our people this way.” The Russian defence ministry claims that the Ukrainian energy infrastructure is a target.
Sources claim that Russian troops are evacuating the city of Kherson that they have taken control of, implying a sizable Russian withdrawal at the time of Mr. Zelensky’s accusation. Moscow is “likely” to withdraw its forces from the region, according to Kirill Stremousov, a recently appointed Russian administrator in the Kherson province.
According to a Western diplomat who spoke on the record on the condition of anonymity, the majority of Russian senior commanders have already left the city. As part of a larger Russian effort to fortify its defensive lines throughout southern and eastern Ukraine before the arrival of winter, they claimed Russian troops were strengthening their defensive positions on the other side of the Dnipro River rather than attempting to maintain control of the city.
The official claimed that Russian reservists who had been mobilised had been sent there to cover the inevitable last retreat, but it is unclear exactly what is happening inside the city. Additionally, according to the BBC’s international affairs correspondent Paul Adams, museums and banks have allegedly been plundered.
Over several weeks, occupying forces have also begun removing tens of thousands of residents from the region. Ukrainian forces were “capable,” according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, of retaking the southern metropolis.
However, Ukraine claimed that battle was still going on and that it was still being careful in case Russia was luring Ukrainian soldiers into a trap. One of Moscow’s most important victories in the conflict was the conquest of Kherson, a big city, in March.
However, a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the region, which has been ongoing for more than a month, forced Russia to reevaluate their military goals.