Russia-Ukraine War: Ukrainian energy infrastructure attacked; Russia-backed officials urge citizens to evacuate Kherson

In the face of continued Russian strikes, Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba again urged Ukraine's Western allies to speed up the delivery of modern air defense systems.
According to Ukrainian officials, Russian strikes have damaged more than 400 facilities in 16 regions of Ukraine, including dozens of energy installations.
According to Ukrainian officials, Russian strikes have damaged more than 400 facilities in 16 regions of Ukraine, including dozens of energy installations.EPA-EFE

Critical infrastructure across Ukraine was pounded by more than a dozen Russian missiles on October 22, the Ukrainian Air Force said, while Kyiv's air defense shot down several missiles above the Ukrainian capital.

In the face of continued Russian strikes, Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba again urged Ukraine's Western allies to speed up the delivery of modern air defense systems.

"We intercepted some, others hit the targets. Air defense saves lives. In the capitals [of the West], there should not be a single minute of delay in the decision regarding air defense systems for Ukraine," Kuleba said.

Local officials said power stations were hit in the regions of Odesa, Kirovohrad, and Lutsk, while other regions reported problems with electricity.

"Another rocket attack from terrorists who are fighting against civilian infrastructure and people," the Ukrainian president's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, wrote on the Telegram app.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that air defense shot down several rockets that were flying in the direction of the capital.

"Several rockets flying towards Kyiv were shot down in the region by air defense forces. Thanks to our defenders!" Klitschko said, while local police chief Andriy Nyebytov posted a photograph of a column of smoke rising from a forest where he said the missile debris had landed.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told a government meeting that from October 10 to October 20, Russian strikes damaged more than 400 facilities in 16 regions of Ukraine, including dozens of energy installations.

"The Russian Amy has identified our energy sector as one of the key targets for its attacks. Russian propagandists and officials speak openly about the purpose of all these attacks: Ukraine, according to them, should be left without water, without light, without heat."

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal

Russia-appointed authorities in the occupied and illegally seized southern Kherson region on October 22 urged residents of the region's eponymous main city to leave "immediately" in the face of Kyiv's advancing counteroffensive.

"Due to the tense situation on the front, the increased danger of mass shelling of the city and the threat of terrorist attacks, all civilians must immediately leave the city and cross to the left bank of the Dnieper river," the region's Russia-backed authorities said on social media.

Their appeal came in spite of a claim by Russia's Defense Ministry on October 22 that its forces had prevented an attempt by Ukraine to break through its line of control in Kherson.

"All attacks were repulsed, the enemy was pushed back to their initial positions," the ministry said, adding that Ukraine's offensive was launched toward the settlements of Piatykhatky, Suhanove, Sablukivka and Bezvodne, on the west side of the Dnieper River.

The ministry's statement said Russian forces had also repelled attacks in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

The claims could not be independently verified.

Kherson city was one of the first urban areas occupied by Russia at the start of the invasion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said 88 settlements in the southern Kherson region and 551 settlements in the northeastern Kharkiv region have been “de-occupied,” while the Ukrainian forces' counteroffensive in the Kherson region moves ahead.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Zelenskiy’s office, reported the data on Telegram, broadcasting results since the Ukrainian military launched the counteroffensive several weeks ago in the Kherson direction and before that in the Kharkiv direction.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gives his nightly address to the nation on October 21.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gives his nightly address to the nation on October 21.RFE-RL

Zelenskiy added in his nightly video address on October 21 that the Ukrainian forces had shown “good results” in capturing Russian arms in Kherson.

Ukraine is trying to drive Russian forces in Kherson back east across the Dnieper. Russian soldiers on the western bank, where the city of Kherson is located, are reportedly close to being cut off from supply lines and reinforcements.

Natalya Humenyuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern operational command, said the Ukrainian military struck the Antonivskiy Bridge over the Dnieper in the city of Kherson during an overnight curfew Russia-installed officials put in place to avoid civilian casualties.

According to Ukrainian officials, Russian strikes have damaged more than 400 facilities in 16 regions of Ukraine, including dozens of energy installations.
Ethnic Cleansing? Fear? Damage Control? Why Russia Really Wants To Get Ukrainians Out Of Kherson

“We do not attack civilians and settlements," Humenyuk told Ukrainian television.

Ukrainian strikes made the Antonivskiy Bridge inoperable, prompting Russian authorities to set up ferry crossings and pontoon bridges to relocate civilians and transport supplies.

Russia has sent in thousands of recently mobilized troops to reinforce the defense of Kherson, the General Staff said on October 21.

Russian-installed officials are trying to evacuate up to 60,000 people from Kherson for their safety and to allow the military to build fortifications.

Zelenskiy again on October 21 urged the West to warn Russia not to blow up a dam at the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant on the Dnieper River as this could flood settlements in the direction of Kherson.

Zelenskiy said Russian forces had planted explosives inside the dam, which holds back an enormous reservoir, and were planning to blow it up.

"Now everyone in the world must act powerfully and quickly to prevent a new Russian terrorist attack. Destroying the dam would mean a large-scale disaster," he said in his nightly address. (KB/RFE-RL)

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