Russian President Putin seems to be down to the most desperate war strategies to try and salvage anything that won’t look like a defeat in Ukraine. His next tactic seems like a pretty straightforward concept: to kill electricity and heat to make people as cold as they possibly can. Could a strategy like this work? We seem destined to find out:
A barrage of Russian missiles fired on Saturday targeted the power grid in Ukraine, leaving over a million residents without power as the country prepares for a winter with below-freezing temperatures.
At least 33 missiles were fired, according to The Washington Post, with “at least 10” fired from bombers from Russia’s strategic air command and 16 missiles from ships in the Black Sea.
Ihor Polishchuk, the mayor of Lutsk, said on Telegram that an “energy facility” in the city had been “completely” destroyed, The Washington Post reported. “Its recovery is currently impossible,” he added, without additional details.
“1.5 million of #Ukrainians without electricity right now,” Kira Rudick, a member of the Ukrainian parliament tweeted shortly after the attacks. “Total darkness and cold are coming.”
In Ukraine, the average temperature in October in the capital of Kyiv is 48.3°F. In the deep winter months of November through March, the temperature drops below freezing, prompting concerns about keeping residents warm enough through the season.
On Telegram, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attacks “vile strikes on critical objects,” and urged Ukrainians to conserve energy.
“The stability of the power industry of our entire state depends on each city and district of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said, calling for residents to limit their use of appliances and heed local warnings about additional outages. “Together, we are now showing that Ukrainian life cannot be broken.”
The office of President Zelenskyy and representatives for Rudick did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a reporter on the breaking news team covering business and labor stories, as well as tech and data privacy issues, politics, law enforcement and criminal justice. She previously worked at the San Fernando Valley Business Journal and received a master’s degree in specialized journalism with an emphasis in investigative reporting from University of Southern California. This first appeared in Insider.