Russia has launched a “new massive strike” targeting Ukraine’s energy grid, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. He said the attacks were on a “very wide” scale, hitting Ukraine’s regions in the west, centre, south and east.
Nearly 1.5 million households were without electricity, Kyiv said.
But Mr Zelensky said most of the Russian missiles and drones were being shot down, and such strikes would not stop a Ukrainian military advance.
“Of course, we do not yet have the technical ability to shoot down 100% of Russian missiles and attack drones. We will gradually come to this – with the help of our partners, I’m confident of this,” the Ukrainian leader said in his video address late on Saturday.
Almost a third of Ukraine’s power stations and other energy-generating facilities have been destroyed in a wave of air strikes since Monday last week.
The areas targeted by the latest attacks include the Cherkasy region, south-east of the capital Kyiv, and the city of Khmelnytskyi, further west.
Air strikes and power disruptions were also reported from Odesa in the south to Rivne and Lutsk in the north-west.
The national electricity operator, Ukrenergo, said the strikes may have caused more damage than intense bombardment earlier this month.
President Zelensky said that 36 rockets had been launched on Saturday, and most of them had been downed.
The deputy mayor of the western city of Lviv, Serhiy Kiral, told the BBC on Saturday that Russia’s strategy was to damage critical infrastructure before the winter, and bring the war to areas beyond the front line.
“The more successes the Ukrainian armed forces are having at the front the worse it’s going to be for people on the home front because Russia is going to do all it can to target civilians and to target critical infrastructure,” he said in an interview with the Newshour radio programme.
On Friday Mr Zelensky accused Russia of planting mines at a hydroelectric damin the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, which is under the control of Moscow’s forces.