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Social media video image obtained by Reuters shows smoke and fire from the site of a missile strike at the Trypilska power station in Kyiv region, Ukraine on April 11.Video Obtained By Reuters/Reuters

Russian missiles and drones destroyed a large electricity plant near Kyiv and hit power facilities in several regions of Ukraine on Thursday, officials said, ramping up pressure on the embattled energy system as Kyiv runs low on air defences.

The major attack more than two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion completely destroyed the Trypilska coal-powered thermal power plant near the capital, a senior official at the company that runs the facility told Reuters.

Footage shared on social media showed a fire raging at the large Soviet-era facility and black smoke belching from it. Reuters was able to confirm the location of the video as the Trypilska station.

“We need air defence and other defence support, not eye-closing and long discussions,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram, condemning the attacks as “terror.”

The Russian defence ministry said it hit fuel and energy facilities in Ukraine in what it described as a massive retaliatory strike using drones and high-precision, long-range weapons from air and sea.

The strikes were a response to Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia’s oil, gas and energy facilities, it said.

Kyiv’s appeals for urgent air defence supplies from the West have grown increasingly desperate since Russia renewed its long-range aerial assaults on the Ukrainian energy system last month.

The attacks, which hammered thermal and hydroelectric power plants, have caused fears about the resilience of an energy system that was hobbled by a Russian air campaign in the war’s first winter.

Ukraine’s air force commander said air defences took down 18 of the incoming missiles and 39 drones. The attack used 82 missiles and drones in total, the military said.

The destroyed power plant outside Kyiv, a major power supplier for the capital and Cherkasy and Zhytomyr regions, is the third and last facility owned by state-owned energy company Centrenergo.

“Everything is destroyed,” Andriy Gota, head of the supervisory board of the company, said when asked about the situation at Centrenergo.

The Trypilska plant was the biggest energy facility near Kyiv and was built to have a capacity of 1,800 megawatt hours, more than the pre-war needs of Ukraine’s biggest city.

The Ukrenergo grid operator said its substations and power generating facilities had been damaged in attacks on the regions of Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv and Kyiv.

Ukraine’s largest private electricity company DTEK, which lost 80% of its generating capacity in attacks on March 22 and March 29, said Russia’s attacks hit two of its power stations, inflicting serious damage.

On Thursday afternoon, Russian forces attacked a thermal power station in the Sumy region in northern Ukraine with guided bombs. The scale of damage was not immediately clear, though the regional administration said there were no casualties.

The strikes also attacked two underground storage facilities where Ukraine stores natural gas, including some owned by foreign companies, energy company Naftogaz said. The facilities continued to operate, it added. “The situation in Ukraine is dire; there is not a moment to lose,” said U.S. ambassador Bridget Brink, adding that 10 missiles struck critical infrastructure in the Kharkiv area alone.

The grid operator issued a statement urging Ukrainians to minimize their use of electricity in the peak evening hours on Thursday so as not to overload the system.

The region of Kharkiv, which borders Russia and already has long, rolling blackouts in place, was forced to cut electricity for 200,000 people, presidential aide Oleksiy Kuleba said.

Ukraine has warned it could run out of air defence munitions if Russia keeps up the intensity of its strikes and that it is already having to make difficult decisions about what to defend.

There has been a slowdown in vital Western assistance and a major U.S. aid package has been blocked by Republicans in Congress for many months, Ukraine has said.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia’s overnight attack used six ballistic missiles, which can hit targets within minutes and are much harder to shoot down. Kyiv says that is why it needs U.S.-made Patriot air defences.

“Ukraine remains the only country in the world facing ballistic strikes. There is currently no other place for ‘Patriots’ to be,” Kuleba wrote on X.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday to overhaul how the armed forces draft civilians into the ranks after a general told the chamber that Russian forces outnumbered Kyiv’s troops up to ten times on the battlefield in the east.

Two years into a war against Russia, a country with three times its population, Ukraine has been suffering setbacks on the battlefield. Tens of thousands of soldiers have been killed, many times more have been wounded and hundreds of thousands have now fought for two years with no respite.

Martial law lets draft officers call up men over 27 to fight, and a separate measure signed into law last week by President Volodymyr Zelensky made thousands more men susceptible by lowering that minimum age to 25.

But during the war there have been thousands of cases of draft dodging and in practice commanders have said they are not receiving enough troops.

The new measures should increase troop numbers by requiring men to update their draft data with the authorities, boosting payments to those who volunteer, and letting some convicts serve. It adds some new punishments for draft dodging, but stops short of severe measures that had prompted public opposition.

“Pass this law and the Ukrainian Armed Forces will not let down you or the Ukrainian people,” General Yuriy Sodol, commander of the joint forces, told lawmakers.

“We are maintaining our defences with our last strength,” he said as lawmakers stood up and applauded more than a dozen commanders who attended the session.


Maksym Zhorin, a deputy commander of Ukraine’s third assault brigade, said the law would not lead to “miracles” on the battlefield.

“Undoubtedly, it will bring a little more order and systematize (things) in general on the issue of mobilization,” he said. “Personally, I would make it much tougher and also continue to reduce the conscription age.”

Ukrainian troops achieved startling success in the war’s first year, pushing Russian invaders from the capital and recapturing swathes of territory in the east and south. But since a major Ukrainian counteroffensive stalled last year, Russia has been pressing its advantage in manpower and equipment to wrest new ground in the east.

Military analysts say Ukraine’s armed forces need to address acute manpower shortages, as well as a shortage of ammunition, worsened by U.S. Republicans who have blocked military aid from Washington, and potentially flagging support from some European allies.

“The enemy outnumbers us by 7-10 times, we lack manpower,” said Sodol, who is commanding Kyiv’s troops in the Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Lawmaker Oleksandr Fedienko said the passage of the bill would send a “message to our partners that we are ready to retake our territory and we need weapons.”

The bill passed with a majority of 283 votes, Yaroslav Zhelezniak, a lawmaker for the Holos party, wrote on the Telegram messaging app. It still requires President Volodymyr Zelensky’s signature to become law.

Volodymyr Fesenko, a Kyiv-based political analyst, said the law could partially solve the mobilization issue, but that it would depend on how it was implemented.

“Our experience shows that there are laws and there is practice, i.e. how the law will work. This law will solve part of the problems, but it will start working somewhere in the mid-May,” he said.

The law gives Ukrainian men 60 days to update their personal data with the military authorities. Until now, draft offices had to rely on sometimes incomplete and old data.

An earlier proposal to set a time limit for mobilization was abandoned, meaning wartime military service remains open-ended, a sensitive issue for those who have been fighting since the start of the war.

It took parliament several months to put the bill to a final vote this week, as politicians accused each other of drafting poorly-worded amendments and lacking the political will to approve unpopular changes. Over 4,000 amendments were submitted after the first reading in February.

“They made it as soft and confusing as possible. And months were lost,” lawmaker Mariana Bezuhla wrote on Facebook.

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