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Ukraine LIVE: Almost 10 million Ukrainians without power as Russia cripples energy grid

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Freezing temperatures are putting additional pressure on energy networks, grid operator Ukrenergo said.

“You always need to prepare for the worst. We understand that the enemy wants to destroy our power system in general, to cause long outages,” Ukrenergo’s chief executive Volodymyr Kudrytskyi told Ukrainian state television. “We need to prepare for possible long outages, but at the moment we are introducing schedules that are planned and will do everything to ensure that the outages are not very long.”

The capital of Kyiv is already facing a “huge deficit in electricity,” Mayor Vitali Klitschko told The Associated Press. Some 1.5 million to 2 million people — about half of the city’s population — are periodically plunged into darkness as authorities switch electricity from one district to another.

“It’s a critical situation,” he said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Friday that 10 million Ukrainians were now left without power.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal echoed: “Unfortunately Russia continues to carry out missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure. Almost half of our energy system is disabled.”

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