Ukraine Russia war: Moscow missile attacks hit ‘critical energy infrastructure’ in Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv

A presidential aide claimed the attacks were in response to the address Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave to the G20 summit.

Ukrainian authorities have reported a wave of Russian airstrikes across the country, leaving half of Kyiv without electricity and killing at least one person.

In the western city of Lviv and Kharkiv in the north-east, critical energy facilities were targeted that knocked out power. It comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took part in the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, along with Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave an address to the summit, with his aide describing the attacks as a response to this.

The barrage of strikes came as air raids alerts were issued across Ukraine. They followed what have been days of euphoria in Ukraine after one of its biggest military successes so far of the nearly nine-month Russian invasion — the retaking last week of the southern city of Kherson.

Kyiv’s mayor said strikes on Ukraine’s capital hit three residential buildings and that air defence units shot down other missiles. Vitali Klitschko said on his Telegram social media channel that medics and rescuers are being scrambled to the sites of the attacks. The city’s administration said at least one person had died.

A cat sits on a wall next to a destroyed building near Kyiv, Ukraine. Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The mayor added that half of Kyiv was without electricity, due to strikes on energy infrastucture in Lviv and Kharkiv. He said: “Due to a massive missile attack, on the order of the national electric power company Ukrenergo, the energy industry started emergency power outages throughout Ukraine. In particular, in the capital. This is a necessary step to balance the power system and avoid equipment accidents. Schedules of stabilisation shutdowns are currently not in effect! In the capital, at least half of the customers are without electricity.”

Video published by a presidential aide showed a five-story, apparently residential building on fire in Kyiv. In Lviv, electricity supply and mobil signal has been attacked, while in Kharkiv the metro and all electric transport have been stopped.

The strikes followed air raid sirens in the capital and break what had been a period of comparative calm since previous waves of drone and missile attacks several weeks ago.

Reports of abuses are also emerging in newly liberated Kherson areas now that Russian troops have gone. Speaking from Kyiv, the head of the UN human rights office’s monitoring mission in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner said her teams are looking to travel to Kherson to try to verify allegations of nearly 80 cases of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention it has turned up in the area and “understand whether the scale is in fact larger than what we have documented already”.

The head of the National Police of Ukraine, Igor Klymenko, said authorities are to start investigating reports from Kherson residents that Russian forces set up at least three alleged torture sites in now-liberated parts of the wider Kherson region and that “our people may have been detained and tortured there.”

“Mine clearance is currently under way. After that, I think, today, investigative actions will begin,” he said on Ukrainian TV.

On the same day as the air strikes, Vladimir Putin declared two Ukrainian cities - Melitopol and Mariupol - were awarded the title of Russian cities of glory. The RIA Novosti news agency reported the documents contain an identical wording – “for the courage, steadfastness and mass heroism shown by the defenders of the city in the struggle for the freedom and independence of the fatherland.”