Dec 10 (Reuters) – All non-critical infrastructure in Ukraine’s southern port city of Odesa was without power after Russia used drones to hit energy facilities, local officials said on Saturday, with much of the surrounding region also affected.
“Due to the scale of the damage all users in Odesa except critical infrastructure have been disconnected from electricity,” Odesa mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov wrote on Facebook.
Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port city, had population of over 1 million before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
A statement posted by the city administration on the Telegram app said that Russian strikes hit key transmission lines and equipment in Odesa region in the early hours of Saturday.
Odesa region governor Maksym Marchenko said Russia used ‘kamikaze’ drones, which fly into their target rather than firing munitions, and that two had been shot down over the Black Sea.
“As a result of the strike there is no electricity in almost all the districts and communities of our region,” Marchenko wrote on Telegram.
Since October, Moscow has been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with large waves of missile and drone strikes, with Kyiv acknowledging on Friday that every single thermal and hydro-electric power plant in the country had been damaged.
Ukraine says the attacks are war crimes due to their devastating effect on civilian life, while Moscow claims they are militarily legitimate.
(Reporting by Max Hunder;)