Odesa won't have electricity for months, residents advised to leave

Odesa won't have electricity for months, residents advised to leave
President Volodymyr Zelensky during his nightly address on Saturday 10 December. Credit: Ukrainian presidential press service

Russian forces have targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure for weeks with rockets and drones to make the situation unsufferable for the Ukrainians over the winter months.

Residents of the Ukrainian port city Odesa have been advised to temporarily leave the city if at all possible, as electricity isn't expected to function after an attack from Russian military severely battered its electricity grid.

The port city and its outskirts were plunged into darkness after a Russian drone attack Friday to Saturday.

"So far, more than 1.5 million people in Odesa are without electricity.... Russian terrorists used 15 Shahed drones against Odesa," confirmed President Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly address on Saturday.

"This is the true attitude of Russia towards Odesa, towards Odesa residents – deliberate bullying, deliberate attempt to bring disaster to the city."

Repairs will take time, according to the company managing electricity supplies.  "It's not a question of days or weeks, but two to three months," according to the company.

Iranian support

Russia attacked Odesa with several Iranian military drones, according to the Ukrainian military. 10 out of 15 drones were shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force.

Iran has become one of Russia's top military backers since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to the British Ministry of Defence. Iran's support is likely to increase in the coming months.

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A US defence source told The Times that the Pentagon no longer demands that Ukraine hold back from striking military targets within Russia. The source added that the Pentagon changed its opinion following the recent intensification of Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and that the Pentagon is less perturbed about the risk of escalation with Russia.

International law lets Ukraine strike legitimate targets even in Russian soil, particularly Russian forces are launching targets from these areas to attack Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

Russia has in recent weeks intensified its attacks on energy infrastructure after several defeats on the front lines.

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