Ukraine says 1.5 million in Odesa region without power after Russia strikes

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's office said two power facilities in Odesa region were hit by Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones.

 Ukrainian service members walk next to destroyed buildings, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, on Snake (Zmiinyi) Island, in Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released July 7, 2022. (photo credit: UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Ukrainian service members walk next to destroyed buildings, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, on Snake (Zmiinyi) Island, in Odesa region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released July 7, 2022.
(photo credit: UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

More than 1.5 million people in Ukraine's southern Odesa region are without power after Russian drone strikes on the electricity generating system, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Saturday.

All non-critical infrastructure in Ukraine's southern port city of Odesa was without power after Russia used Iranian-made drones to hit two energy facilities, officials said on Saturday, with much of the surrounding region also affected.

"Due to the scale of the damage all users in Odesa except critical infrastructure have been disconnected from electricity," Odesa mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov wrote on Facebook.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's office said two power facilities in Odesa region were hit by Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones.

Ukraine's armed forces said on Facebook that 15 of those drones, which carry an explosive payload and fly into their target, had been launched on targets in the southern regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv, and that 10 had been shot down.

 Rescue workers work at the scene of a missile strike at a location given as Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Odesa Oblast, Ukraine, in this handout image released July 1, 2022. (credit: State Emergency Services of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS) Rescue workers work at the scene of a missile strike at a location given as Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Odesa Oblast, Ukraine, in this handout image released July 1, 2022. (credit: State Emergency Services of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

Odesa, Ukraine's largest port city, had population of over 1 million before Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.

A statement posted by the city administration on the Telegram app said that Russian strikes hit key transmission lines and equipment in Odesa region in the early hours of Saturday.

Statements from Ukrainian officials

Odesa region governor Maksym Marchenko said Russia used 'kamikaze' drones, which fly into their target rather than firing munitions, and that two had been shot down over the Black Sea.

"As a result of the strike there is no electricity in almost all the districts and communities of our region," Marchenko wrote on Telegram.

"As a result of the strike, there is no electricity in almost all the districts and communities of our region."

Maksym Marchenko

Since October, Moscow has been targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure with large waves of missile and drone strikes, with Kyiv acknowledging on Friday that every single thermal and hydro-electric power plant in the country had been damaged.

Ukraine says the attacks are war crimes due to their devastating effect on civilian life, while Moscow claims they are militarily legitimate.

Kyiv says Russia has launched hundreds of Shahed-136 drones at targets in Ukraine, and has called for tougher international sanctions against Iran in response.

Tehran denies supplying the drones to Moscow. Kyiv and its Western allies say that is a lie.

Britain's defense ministry said on Saturday that it believed Iran's military support for Russia was likely to increase in the coming months, including possible deliveries of ballistic missiles.