(breitbart) – Much of Ukraine, particularly in and around the region of the second city of Kharkiv (Kharkov), was plunged into darkness after missile strikes on energy infrastructure.
The missile strikes, which left Kharkiv the Kharkiv region and Ukrainian-controlled areas of Donetsk in darkness, with partial blackouts also reported in Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Sumy.
“Russian terrorists remain terrorists and attack critical infrastructure. No military facilities, only the goal of leaving people without light and heat,” said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky of the strikes.
Water supplies are also said to have been impacted by the bombardment.
The strikes follow what appears to be a major rout of Russian and pro-Russian separatist forces on the Kharkiv front, potentially also imperilling their positions in the Donbas.
While rhetoric on a major Ukrainian counter-offensive in recent weeks has — perhaps deliberately — focused largely on the southern Kherson region, north of the Crimea, it is on the Kharkiv front that Russian forces have, according to British military intelligence, been “taken by surprise”, with tens of thousands of acres of territory recaptured.
The Russian government’s official line is that troops have been withdrawn from the area so they can regroup and help to secure Donetsk, but this does not appear to be convincing people even in Russia.
Indeed, even senior figures like Ramzan Kadyrov, the notorious strongman leader of Chechnya, a Muslim-majority autonomous republic within the Russian Federation, have expressed open dismay over developments on the Kharkiv front, saying of the military leadership: “If they don’t make changes in the strategy of conducting the special military operation in the next day or two, I will be forced to contact the leadership of the Defense Ministry and the leadership of the country to explain the real situation on the ground.”