On Sunday, Kyiv announced fresh gains in its counteroffensive, including the recapture of the key city of Izyum. Soon afterward, large areas of eastern Ukraine were plunged into power cuts, which Ukrainian officials blamed on Russia.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Moscow of having deliberately hit civilian infrastructure with electricity cuts that hit regions with an estimated combined population of nine million people.
“A total blackout in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, a partial one in the Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Sumy regions,” Zelensky said. “Russian terrorists remain terrorists and attack critical infrastructure. No military facilities, only the goal of leaving people without light and heat.”
Meanwhile, Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov called the power outage “revenge by the Russian aggressor for the successes of our army at the front, in particular, in the Kharkiv region.”
The blackouts came as Ukrainian forces claimed to have recaptured dozens of towns and villages in eastern Ukraine as the war marked its 200th day on Sunday.
Before the power cut, Sunday, the head of the Ukrainian military announced that as much as 1,158 square miles of Ukrainian territory had been wrested from Russia since the offensive began at the beginning of this month.