The Outer

More casualties in Ukraine where not a day goes by without Russia’s combined missile and drone strikes

By Manal Abdel Fattah

In the early hours of Friday, March 22, the Kremlin launched one of the largest attacks on Ukraine’s energy system over the recent period. This time, Russia fired off nearly 90 missiles of various types – Kh-101/555 cruise missiles, air ballistic hypersonic Kh-47M2 Kinzhals, ballistic Iskander-Ms, Kh-22 supersonic cruise missiles, and guided S-300/S- 400 missiles. On top of all that, Russia launched over 60 Shahed kamikaze drones.

Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Cherkasy, and a number of smaller settlements across Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Khmelnytskyi, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Vinnytsia regions came under fire. Russia targeted power generation facilities and distribution systems in various regions, causing a blackout across vast areas. A number of civilians were wounded and killed.

Among Russia’s major targets was the Dnipro hydroelectric power plant in Zaporizhzhia region. Local authorities warned residents of a full traffic halt across the dam as grim images emerged on social media showing a trolleybus engulfed in flames that is believed to have been carrying HPP workers home after a night shift. The Russians deliberately targeted the Dnipro HPP in a bid to provoke yet another environmental disaster, similar to the one caused by Russian invaders blowing up the dam at the Kakhovka HPP back in 2023.

In addition, the stike affected one of the power lines feeding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP).

Large-scale missile attacks are increasingly jeopardizing nuclear safety in Ukraine as nuclear power plants are at risk. Since its capture by Russia in March 2022, the ZNPP has already survived eight blackouts, each of which could lead to a nuclear accident.

A terrorist state in its true sense, Russia is imposing its nuclear blackmail not only on Ukraine, but on the whole world.
Putin is now apparently in a state of absolute euphoria from gloriously “winning” the election, but the Kremlin dictator and his entourage are confusing domestic wins with external ones, going for another ‘blitzkrieg’ effort in Ukraine, which involves daily missile barrages. Russia keeps shelling the civilian population of Ukraine in flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which lays down protection of civilians as the most important rule, like all international humanitarian law does in general.
Russian terrorists mainly target civilian infrastructure – residential buildings, schools, hospitals, and energy facilities.
Russian missile attacks are also aimed at destroying Ukraine’s air defense capabilities in order to inflict as much damage on the country as possible. The Kremlin is deliberately targeting Ukrainian cities in an attempt to exhaust air defenses amid the ongoing delay in military aid from the United States. Through devastating destruction, Russia also seeks to demoralize Ukrainians.
To date, Russia-incurred damage across Ukraine already exceeds $151 billion. Providing more air defense and missile defense systems to Ukraine will help avoid a sharp increase in this amount in the future. Systematic supplies of a sufficient number of air defense/missile defense capabilities and ammunition for them will save thousands of lives. Reliable protection of Ukrainian cities from Russian missile attacks will testify to the sustainable consolidation of the West and Ukraine.

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