In the eastern Kherson area, where Ukrainian troops have been slowly making progress, and Moscow-installed authorities have started ordering evacuations, Kyiv accused Russia of intending to damage a hydroelectric dam.
Russian soldiers allegedly mined the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station to blow it up, which would constitute a “catastrophe on a vast scale,” according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Zelensky said in a speech to European leaders on Thursday that if the dam were to be dismantled, hundreds of thousands of people living along the lower Dnipro River would be at risk of fast flooding.
According to him, the biggest nuclear power station in Europe, Zaporizhzhia, might have cooling system issues if water supplies to the south are blocked.
The North Crimean Canal, which supplies Crimea, which Russia has been occupying since 2014, with a vital water supply, might be demolished.
According to Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelensky’s advisor, Russia’s objective is to prevent the Ukrainian assault in the area while safeguarding Russian forces.
As officials warned that severe damage to the nation’s electrical infrastructure by Russian assaults would cause a fresh wave of refugees to leave the country, cities throughout Ukraine started reducing their use of power ahead of winter on Thursday.
In a speech to the EU council, Zelensky warned, “Russia’s leadership has issued the command to transform the energy system itself into a warfare, and the repercussions are quite hazardous, again for all of us in Europe.”
Authorities say that energy-saving measures were implemented nationwide after Russian missile and drone attacks damaged at least 30% of the nation’s power plants in a week.
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, asked companies to cut down on screens and signpost lights “as much as possible” after blackouts occurred in several city areas overnight.
He added that modest savings and a decrease in the amount of power used by each residence would help stabilize the country’s energy system.
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Ukrainians responded defiantly.
Olga, a Dnipro, Ukraine resident who would not reveal her last name, said, “It’s not going to alter our mentality, maybe we will simply detest them more.”
She said, “I would rather be in Russia than sit in the cold with no water or power.”
According to Kyrylo, an electronics seller, people were racing to acquire supplemental power sources, including batteries and generators.
He said, “I believe that there will be nothing that we cannot withstand,” about the impending winter.
Put on a thermal and some socks, he said; “there will be some type of warmth in any event, and the fact that it will be 16 (degrees Celsius, or 61 Fahrenheit) instead of 20 doesn’t mean much.”
Iranians on the ground
The White House claimed that Iranians were directly involved in the conflict, assisting the Russians in controlling their “kamikaze drones,” destroyed during raids on Ukrainian targets such as power plants.
According to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, “Tehran is now actively participating on the ground and via the transfer of weapons that are harming people and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”
He continued by saying there was also worry that Iran would provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles for the conflict.
He said, “The United States will use every available tool to expose, prevent, and oppose Iran’s transfer of lethal weapons against the people of Ukraine.
Three Iranian generals and a company suspected of selling drones to Russia were the targets of sanctions issued by the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Although Republicans have hinted that financing for military assistance to Ukraine may be reduced after the next congressional midterm elections, bipartisan support for the program is beginning to dwindle in Washington.
President of the United States, Joe Biden, said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, “They suggested that if they win they’re not likely to support, to continue to assist Ukraine.”
“They are completely ignorant of American foreign policy.”
Little has changed along the extensive front lines, where many of Russia’s 200,000 freshly enlisted soldiers have been sent.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, went to a training facility for deployed forces on Thursday, spending time with the soldiers and firing a rifle while there.
When he questioned one of the warriors about his family, he was told he had a five-year-old daughter. Other soldiers had unzipped their packs to show him the equipment they had been given.
Putin gave him a bear embrace and said, “Good luck.”
As Ukrainian troops drew closer to the southern hub, held by Moscow since the first days of the war in February, Russia continued to evacuate residents of Kherson city.
Authorities in Kherson that Moscow imposed said that around 15,000 people had been evacuated.
Images of people waiting to board boats because they couldn’t use bridges that Ukraine had destroyed were shown on Russia’s Rossiya 24 TV.
The evacuations, according to pro-Russian official Kirill Stremousov on Telegram, would allow Russian troops a greater area to fight, and he vowed that they would not hand over control of the city to the Ukrainians.
Nobody is going to abandon Kherson, he said.
However, Ukrainians claimed that the reason for the departure of citizens was forcible deportations to Russia.
In its daily analysis, the US-based Institute for the Study of War said that Russian officials “are likely preparing information circumstances to justify anticipated Russian withdrawals and major territory losses” as Ukrainian troops continue to inch closer to Kherson city.