Today, the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine experienced another power outage. This is likely after another airstrike by Russia. Last night, most of the northeastern province of Kharkiv already experienced a power outage. Ukraine said the strike was in retaliation for a successful Ukrainian military counteroffensive in the province.
Last night several towns and villages in northeastern Ukraine were left in the dark. According to Ukraine, the blackout was the result of Russian rocket attacks on several power plants, including the city of Kharkov. The power plant is her second largest power and heating facility in the country.
The governor said power was restored by 80 percent in the morning. However, after another air raid, the city itself experienced another blackout. There was no water left, the mayor said, adding that everything was being done to restore power as soon as possible.
Ukraine said the Russian airstrikes were in retaliation for a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkov province. Within days, the Ukrainian army was able to expel the Russians from almost the entire state. Important cities such as Lupyansk and Izyum again fell into Ukrainian hands. The Russians retreated toward Donbass (the two easternmost provinces, largely in the hands of pro-Russian rebels) in a massive and disorganized manner.
Today, Ukraine also claims it was able to capture more villages north of Kharkov and pushed Russian forces all the way to the Russian border.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the airstrike on the power plant. “Russian terrorists are still terrorists, attacking critical infrastructure. No military objectives, only aim to free people from light and heat,” he tweeted yesterday. Russia says it has launched airstrikes on Ukrainian positions in the recaptured territory.
Russia’s targeting of power plants is fairly new. Those are targets that have not yet been systematically bombed during the war. This shows that despite the successful counterattack of the Ukrainian army, they can still retaliate. “That’s why it’s hard to even talk about a real tipping point,” says Jan Balliauw, a journalist at VRT NWS and an expert on Eastern Europe. “War comes in waves”
So the question is how long Ukraine can sustain this counterattack. The Ukrainian army has already said today that it will not make any further advances in eastern Ukraine. It is now more important to be able to preserve the recaptured areas, it said.