Russia launched a new wave of missile attacks on cities and towns across Ukraine yesterday as Vladimir Putin tries to cut off the country’s electricity, heating and water supplies before the onset of winter.

It rained on power plants from Odessa, the Black Sea resort in the south, to Kovil, a medieval town near the Belarusian border in the north, leaving about 40 percent of the power infrastructure out of service.

It was the thirteenth consecutive day that drones and missiles targeted the war-torn nation’s power system, leading to blackouts, water shortages and desperate calls from politicians for citizens to limit use.

Firefighters work to put out a fire at energy infrastructure facilities in Rivne on Saturday, as Russia launched a new wave of missile attacks on Ukraine in an attempt to paralyze the country.

Firefighters work to put out a fire at energy infrastructure facilities in Rivne on Saturday, as Russia launched a new wave of missile attacks on Ukraine in an attempt to paralyze the country.

Humiliated by military setbacks in his failed invasion, Putin is trying to weaponize Ukraine’s winter by freezing the nation into submission — just as he arms his control of Europe’s energy supply by raising prices.

This tactic was launched two days after the dictator recruited Sergei Sorovikin – a troubled veteran of the Syrian conflict nicknamed General Armageddon – to lead the invasion and save his beleaguered regime.

It comes as the Kremlin suffered further setbacks in the eight-month war, when Russian-installed authorities in the southern city of Kherson ordered residents to leave before the Ukrainian advance.

Authorities installed by Russia in the southern city of Kherson ordered residents to leave ahead of the Ukrainian advance on Saturday

Authorities installed by Russia in the southern city of Kherson ordered residents to leave ahead of the Ukrainian advance on Saturday

The pro-Putin government has urged civilians to use the boat crossings across the Dnieper River to advance deeper into Russian-controlled territory.

The state-owned electricity company, Uknergo, said yesterday’s attacks caused the most devastating damage yet to its systems in the west of the country.

Ten of Ukraine’s 24 regions and 1.5 million people suffered power outages yesterday, including the capital, Kyiv.

The state railway company Ukrzaliznytsia – which continued with minimal disruption throughout the war – said it was bringing old coal-powered trains back into service and experiencing delays “due to the enemy’s attack”.

In Zhytomyr, a town 90 miles west of Kyiv that recently suffered a series of strikes, half of its 220,000 residents were without electricity and water yesterday.

“We are ready to meet these difficulties, although in the evening there is no street lighting in the city, some public transport does not work, and today we have problems with the water supply,” city mayor Serhiy Sukhumlin told me.

Hospitals rely on backup generators while engineers desperately try to repair damaged facilities to restore operations.

But Sukhumlin insists the nation will remain defiant.

This will not lead the Ukrainian people to surrender and offer Putin to start peace talks.

“Victory will be decided on the front lines and we are ready to take the hardships to bring victory closer.”

The attacks – at least 330 in two weeks – signify a new turn in the war. Putin wants to shut down Ukraine’s infrastructure to demoralize residents who have already witnessed horrific atrocities and forced millions to flee.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, who ruled out negotiations with Putin last week, warned European leaders that this “terrorism” was also aimed at encouraging a new exodus of people from his country to destroy the continent.

Missiles rained down power plants from Odessa, the Black Sea resort in the south, to Kovil, a medieval town near the Belarusian border in the north, rendering about 40 percent of the power infrastructure inoperable.  Pictured: firefighters in the Rivne region

Missiles rained down power plants from Odessa, the Black Sea resort in the south, to Kovil, a medieval town near the Belarusian border in the north, rendering about 40 percent of the power infrastructure inoperable. Pictured: firefighters in the Rivne region

Defense sources said that more than 30 cruise missiles were launched from Russian aircraft and naval ships in the Black Sea yesterday, 18 of them were shot down before they hit their targets, including five towards Kyiv.

The nearly 200 attacks involved Iranian kamikaze drones flying at a low altitude and hovering over targets such as substations that feed the power grid.

It affects the heating and water systems of Soviet-era Ukraine, which depended on electricity to pump supplies over long-distance lines to homes and businesses.

Ukrainian soldiers fire mortars at Russian positions in Bakhmut, Donetsk, Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers fire mortars at Russian positions in Bakhmut, Donetsk, Ukraine

After Zelensky urged people to reduce electricity consumption, Ukrainians started talking about the “energy front” while sharing tips on how to reduce consumption.

In three districts, police patrol the streets after dark to make sure stores, businesses and offices turn off non-essential lights such as shop windows and neon signs – and warn those who do not act in the event of a power outage.

Kyiv was divided into three districts, with power outages for four consecutive hours each separately.

Residents were asked not to use any electrical appliances – including kettles and WiFi routers – between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

“Even one kilowatt saved helps our power system,” said Oleksiy Kuleba, governor of the district.

If you walk into the capital after dark at 6 pm, you will notice that many shops, cafes, and restaurants are closed.

There is darkness and frightening stillness – almost reminiscent of the early days of the war.

At a downtown café, barista Danilo said they would close just after 8 p.m. Friday night when the lights go out.

So the staff lit candles and played patriotic songs loudly while cleaning.

“Wartime is very difficult for business,” he said. “Of course we all prefer there to be no blackouts or sirens when we have to shut down, or bad inflation due to war – but it’s better to be in the dark than under Russian rule.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11344269/Russia-unleashes-missiles-Ukraine-Putin-tries-shut-electricity-heating-water.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Russia launches missiles In Ukraine, where Putin is trying to cut off electricity, heating and water