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Vlad knocks out 1/3rd of Ukraine's power.

As I've said, it's great that Ukraine's ground game is going better, however, 1/3rd of its population is displaced from their housing and winter isn't here yet. Without heat and electricity, it's going to be a rough Xmas.

The odds of the Ukraine prevailing without giving up land to Putin are zero.

Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Will Curb Electricity Under Strain From Russian Attacks

By Lisa Lerer, NY Times

Here’s what we know:

Ukraine’s electric utility said that under rolling blackouts, some households could experience outages of up to four hours.

Ukrainians are advised to charge their devices before outages as shelling persists.

Ukraine claims Russians are withdrawing from Enerhodar, but the status of the southern city remains unclear.

Ukraine has an opportunity to capitalize on Russian weakness, U.S. intelligence says.

The E.U. awards its top human rights prize to Ukraine’s people.

People in a bread line in the ruins of a Chernihiv high-rise express fears over the coming winter.

The E.U. agrees to place sanctions on Iran for supplying Russia with drones.

Ukrainians are advised to charge their devices before outages as shelling persists.

KYIV, Ukraine — Nationwide curbs on electricity usage came into force across Ukraine early Thursday, after more than a week of Russian aerial attacks have pummeled the country’s energy infrastructure and prompted rolling blackouts.

Ukraine’s energy system has suffered more attacks over the past 10 days than during the previous eight months of the war, according to Ukrenergo, the country’s electric utility.

The difficult belt-tightening comes after President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian assaults had knocked out a third of the country’s power stations over the past week, just as the weather is beginning to turn colder, raising fears that the strikes on vital services could set off a humanitarian crisis.

The government has ordered Ukrainians to minimize their electricity use from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., signaling a new phase of the war in which people could lack basic services as winter approaches.

Ukrenergo warned in a statement on the Telegram messaging app of rolling outages lasting up to four hours on Thursday and urged Ukrainians to charge their electrical devices.

“Please make sure that you have charged phones, power banks, water, flashlights and batteries by 7 a.m. tomorrow,” it said.

Most of Kyiv’s electric tram lines were replaced with buses on Thursday in an attempt to help conserve electricity, Vitaly Klitschko, the city’s mayor, said. He appealed to residents to avoid using microwave ovens and electric kettles, according to a post on Telegram. He told shop owners to limit lighting on signs and screens.

The city also turned on its heating network on Thursday, Mr. Klitschko said, “taking into account the weather conditions and the need to save electricity (so that residents of Kyiv do not heat their homes with air conditioners and electric heaters).”

Last week, Russia launched a large air campaign with missiles and drones, targeting critical infrastructure in Ukraine. On Oct. 10, electricity went out in more than 10 cities from Kyiv to Kharkiv after a flurry of missile strikes that Ukrainian officials said was intended to incapacitate the nation’s energy system. Russia said the shelling was in response to a truck bomb that damaged a critical bridge linking Russia and Crimea.

The recent strikes have destroyed 30 percent of Ukraine’s power stations and caused “massive blackouts across the country,” Mr. Zelensky said on Tuesday, and Ukrenergo said the attacks since Oct. 10 had damaged more of the country’s energy system than strikes throughout the previous eight months.

A government minister, Oleksii Chernyshov, said on Tuesday that 408 sites in Ukraine had been struck in the recent attacks, including 45 energy facilities. Many of the attacks have also hit thermal energy plants that generate steam for heating homes and businesses. On Wednesday, three additional energy facilities were destroyed.

In his nightly address, Mr. Zelensky encouraged Ukrainians to take the new restrictions seriously, reassuring listeners that scheduled blackouts would be shortened if enough energy is conserved. “This requires our joint efforts,” he said. “Tomorrow they are needed even more than before.”

Energy in Ukraine is highly centralized, though power stations can operate independently, so the country can be divided into “islands” of energy even when connections between them are damaged, experts on the country’s system have said.

But while the system has some resilience, they expect that it will take weeks to fully repair. And new strikes have continued near daily, with several pieces of infrastructure hit on Wednesday and air raid sirens over much of the country on Thursday warning of possible attacks.

The World Health Organization has warned of the potential for a spiraling humanitarian crisis, given that a lack of access to fuel or electricity “could become a matter of life or death if people are unable to heat their homes.”

— Megan Specia and Carly Olson

Ukraine claims Russians are withdrawing from Enerhodar, but the status of the southern city remains unclear.

Russian forces have started to leave a city next to the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, according to a senior Ukrainian official and a report shared by Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company, amid conflicting accounts of the status of a key stronghold for Moscow in the south.

The Ukrainian claims could not be independently verified, and the situation at the Russian-controlled nuclear plant, for the moment, appeared to be unchanged. There was no confirmation of a withdrawal on the Telegram channels of pro-Russian military bloggers who closely follow the war.

The Ukrainian nuclear energy company, Energoatom, shared a post on the Telegram social messaging app claiming that Russian forces had begun to “flee” from the city, Enerhodar. A senior Ukrainian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, said that Russian forces were leaving the city.

The post shared by the energy company said that Russian forces had looted property before their departure, taking furniture, refrigerators, televisions and other household items.

Another Ukrainian official, Dmytro Orlov, the exiled mayor of the Enerhodar, said in a telephone interview that residents had seen Russian troops packing looted items into trucks and leaving, but added that it was possible that a unit was rotating out of the city and another would arrive.

Mr. Orlov said that it was also possible that the soldiers were relocating to another nearby site that could be warmed with wood or coal heating, as they had been garrisoned in a hotel without central heating. Nighttime temperatures are now dropping to near freezing.

“I would like it to be a retreat but I don’t think they will abandon this leverage for nuclear blackmail for the whole world so easily,” Mr. Orlov said in a telephone interview.

Soldiers remained at the nuclear power plant, he said, even as the movement was observed in the city.

Enerhodar, which is on the southern bank of the Dnipro River, is home to many of the workers and engineers who for decades have operated the atomic facility, where repeated shelling has raised fears of a nuclear accident. Ukraine’s forces are positioned on the other side of the wide river.

Vladimir Rogov, the Kremlin-appointed head of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region, said on Thursday that Russia’s Army had the capability to defend the territories it has captured, according to RIA Novosti, a Russian state news agency.

In March, Russian forces seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, giving them leverage over a critical piece of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. They poured troops and hardware into the plant’s sprawling grounds and used the site’s relative protection to shell nearby Ukrainian cities.

For weeks, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has been negotiating with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to set up a demilitarized safety zone around the plant. But the talks have stalled, apparently because such a move would involve Moscow’s effectively relinquishing control.

Any withdrawal of Moscow’s forces would have implications not only for Russia’s hold on the Zaporizhzhia region, which the Kremlin unilaterally annexed this month, but also for its hold over ground farther south in occupied Kherson. Proxy authorities installed by Moscow in Kherson said on Wednesday that they had begun moving tens of thousands of civilians from the regional capital before a possible Ukrainian push to reclaim the city.

In late August, Ukraine announced a counteroffensive to retake land in the south that it had lost early in the war. Since then, using artillery supplied by the West, it has gradually advanced along both banks of the Dnipro River.

— Michael Schwirtz, Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Andrew E. Kramer and Ivan Nechepurenko

The State of the War

Drone Attacks: The use by Russia of Iranian-made drones in recent strikes on Kyiv may be a sign that the country’s military is running low on precision-guided weapons. It also shows how Tehran has become an increasingly close ally to the Kremlin.

A Looming Crisis: Russia’s stepped-up attacks on infrastructure and vital utility networks in Ukraine herald a new phase of the war — one that threatens millions of Ukrainians with the prospect of a desolate winter without electricity, water and heat.

Russia’s Chaotic Draft: Newly mobilized Russian recruits are already at the front in Ukraine, reports say, fighting and dying after only days of training. The draft has provoked widespread criticism across Russia and prompted thousands of Russian men to flee the country.

Ukrainian Offensive: Moscow’s recent aerial campaign across Ukraine does not appear to have changed the course of the war in the south and the east, where Russia is mostly falling back as Ukrainian troops try to regain territory.

Ukraine has an opportunity to capitalize on Russian weakness, U.S. intelligence says.

WASHINGTON — The Ukrainian military has a window of opportunity to make gains against Russia’s army over the next six weeks, according to American intelligence assessments, if it can continue its push in the south and the northeast before muddy ground and cloud cover force the opposing armies to pause and regroup.

American officials say there is little chance of a widespread collapse in Russian forces that would allow Ukraine to take another huge swath of territory, similar to what it claimed last month. But individual Russian units could break in the face of sustained Ukrainian pressure, allowing Kyiv’s army to continue retaking towns in the Donbas region and potentially seize the city of Kherson, a major prize in the war.

Though wary of making precise predictions, American and Ukrainian officials say the fighting is likely to continue for months more despite the fact that the war has favored Ukraine recently. And a number of variables could become particularly pertinent in shifting the trajectory of the conflict: more difficult fighting conditions in December, the extent to which President Vladimir V. Putin is willing to escalate the fight, whether Europe’s unity can be maintained this winter as energy prices soar and the potentially changing political environment in the United States that could result in a decrease of military support to Ukraine.

Part of the difficulty of making wartime assessments is that the war has gone through different phases, with one side and then the other having an advantage. The Ukrainians defeated the Russians in the battle for Kyiv, only to see Russia grind forward during the brutal fighting in the Donbas over the summer.

— Julian E. Barnes

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITYRead the full article on how the Ukrainian military could make gains against Russia’s army over the next six weeks, according to American intelligence assessments.

The E.U. awards its top human rights prize to Ukraine’s people.

The European Union has honored the Ukrainian people with the bloc’s top human rights accolade in recognition of their fight against the Russian invasion of their country.

The award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, also recognized President Volodymyr Zelensky, prominent activists and Ukrainian institutions such as the emergency services for their roles in trying to fend off the invasion.

“This award is for those Ukrainians fighting on the ground,” Roberta Metsola, the president of the European Parliament, said on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France. “For those who have been forced to flee,” she added. “For those who have lost relatives and friends. For all those who stand up and fight for what they believe in. I know that the brave people of Ukraine will not give up, and neither will we.”

The accolade is accompanied by 50,000 euros, about $49,000, in prize money, which will be distributed among members of Ukrainian civil society.

It follows the awarding this month of the Nobel Peace Prize to a Ukrainian rights group, the Center for Civil Liberties, along with rights advocates in Russia and Belarus. And it comes as the European Union has continued to express its support for Ukraine in the war, including promises of further aid, weapons and military training. The bloc also said on Wednesday that it would impose a fresh round of sanctions on Iran over its drones that Russia has used to strike battlefields and civilian targets in Ukraine.

Mr. Zelensky expressed gratitude for the European award. “Ukrainians prove dedication to the values of freedom, democracy every day on the battlefield against the terrorist state” of Russia, he said on Twitter.

Established in 1988, the prize is named after Andrei D. Sakharov, the nuclear physicist and Nobel laureate who led the Soviet Union’s development of the hydrogen bomb and subsequently became an indefatigable campaigner for human rights. Members of the European Parliament choose the recipient of the annual prize.

Last year, it was awarded to Aleksei A. Navalny, who has for a decade challenged the Kremlin in street protests and elections, survived assassination attempts and is now in a Russian prison.

Past winners include Nelson Mandela; Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for women’s rights who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize; and Ilham Tohti, a prominent Uyghur intellectual who spent two decades trying to defuse tensions between oppressed Muslim Uyghurs in China and the dominant Han ethnic group.

— Enjoli Liston

People in a bread line in the ruins of a Chernihiv high-rise express fears over the coming winter.


Residents of Chernihiv, Ukraine, waited in line on Wednesday to receive free bread provided by the United Nations.

Residents of Chernihiv, Ukraine, waited in line on Wednesday to receive free bread provided by the United Nations.Credit...Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times


CHERNIHIV, Ukraine — In the ruins of a high-rise apartment building in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Wednesday morning, dozens of people stood in line to wait for bread.

Nearby, pieces of the building’s facade lay where they fell nearly eight months ago when a series of missile strikes devastated this area and left dozens dead. Many who awaited the free bread, distributed by the United Nations, were still living in the heavily damaged buildings close by, some without windows and many without heat.

Though there has not yet been a frost, there was still a chill in the air as the temperature has steadily dropped. Olha Kornobed, 74, who waited with several of her neighbors, said that the recent Russian strikes on key infrastructure across the country had left residents uneasy as winter approaches.

“Everyone is worried,” she said. “They promised us there will be heating this winter, but who knows?”

That afternoon, the military administration said that a missile had been intercepted and shot down over the industrial zone of Chernihiv and that its debris had fallen onto a warehouse and damaged it.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on Tuesday said that about 30 percent of the country’s power stations had been destroyed by Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine’s infrastructure. Residents are hoping that the heating system is ready by the winter.

“Everything depends on that,” Ms. Kornobed said. “If there will be heating, we will be warm enough. And if not, then I don’t know.”

— Brendan Hoffman and Megan Specia

The E.U. agrees to place sanctions on Iran for supplying Russia with drones.

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