(Update 1: Adds death toll, details on Moldova blackouts)
Lviv, Ukraine, Nov 23 (EFE).- Russian missile strikes killed at least three people in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Wednesday and caused energy blackouts across the country as well as in neighboring Moldova.
Kyiv’s military administration said the three were killed and a further six were injured when a Russian missile hit a two-storey building in the city, Ukraine’s official news agency Ukrinform reported.
Ukraine’s electricity operator Ukrenergo warned of emergency energy shutdowns across the country to protect the infrastructure from further damage as it came under Russian missile fire.
“The missile attack is still ongoing, but energy infrastructure facilities have already been hit. Emergency shutdowns are occurring in all regions,” the firm said in a social media post.
“This is a necessary step to protect power grids from additional technological accidents and support the operation of the power system.”
Repair crews would begin work on the damaged infrastructure when air alerts come to an end, Ukrenergo said, although it warned that restoring energy could take longer in some areas due to frost and freezing rain.
Russia’s targeting of Ukrainian energy infrastructure as winter sets in plunged entire cities into darkness, authorities said.
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said the city was left without water and that efforts were underway to restore electricity.
Further west, the city of Lviv was completely in the dark, mayor Andriy Sadovyi said.
“The whole city is without light. We are waiting for additional information from energy experts. There may be interruptions with water supply,” he tweeted.
Ukrainian news outlet UNIAN reported energy interruptions in cities Kharkiv, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk.
The effects were felt beyond Ukraine, with authorities in neighboring Moldova reporting mass energy blackouts as a result of Russia’s bombing.
Andrei Spinu, Moldova’s deputy prime minister, said the country’s state electricity firm was working to restore connection to 50% of the country.
President Maia Sandu vented her outrage on Facebook, saying Russia had left Moldova in the dark.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine kills people, destroys residential blocks and energy infrastructure with missiles.”
“She added: “We cannot trust a regime that leaves us in the dark and cold, that intentionally kills people, out of a simple desire to keep other peoples in poverty and humiliation.”EFE