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Ukraine says energy facilities damaged in attack 


A seller shines a flashlight as she shows goods to a customer during a power outage in Kyiv, June 19, 2024. Russian regular massive missile attacks against Ukraine's energy facilities have resulted in electricity supply restrictions.
A seller shines a flashlight as she shows goods to a customer during a power outage in Kyiv, June 19, 2024. Russian regular massive missile attacks against Ukraine's energy facilities have resulted in electricity supply restrictions.

An overnight drone attack in central and western Ukraine damaged energy facilities in the country, while firefighters in the Russian town of Azov battled a blaze at an oil depot for a second day.

Ukraine’s energy ministry said equipment was damaged and police emergency services had been called to help. The attack came after Ukraine announced rolling blackouts throughout the country.

The mayor of Lviv, a city in western Ukraine near the border with Poland, said a drone attack in the village of Malekhiv injured two people, damaged a multi-story residential building and shattered dozens of windows in nearby buildings.

Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said a 70-year-old and a 47-year-old were hurt.

Meanwhile, a fire at a Russian oil storage facility in the Rostov region continues to burn for a second day after it was started by a drone attack.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region, posted on Telegram that first responders haven’t been able to put out the fire because a second storage tank had been depressurized. He said more than 200 firefighters were fighting the fire.

A Ukrainian official told media outlets the attack was a special operation of Ukraine’s Security Service. Ukraine has targeted energy infrastructure in the past as a way of hurting Russia’s war effort.

The attack hit two depots with 22 oil reservoirs, the official said. Azov is in the Rostov region in southern Russia, on the Don River about 16 kilometers from the Sea of Azov.

Azov’s two oil product terminals handled a total of about 220,000 tons of fuel for export between January and May 2024.

Earlier in Ukraine, Russian attacks on power plants led to rolling blackouts throughout the country.

"All regional power distribution companies will apply hourly outage schedules for industrial and household consumers from 00:00 to 24:00," national power provider Ukrenergo announced Wednesday. Previously, officials had tried to limit outages to afternoon hours.

In Donetsk, a man and woman were killed by Ukrainian shelling of the city Wednesday morning, according to the city’s Russian-appointed mayor, Alexei Kulemzin. Two other people, including a child, are in serious condition, he said.

The latest hostilities come as Russia and North Korea announced a pledge Wednesday to aid each other if either country was attacked. An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday on X that the military partnership is a “brazen nullification” of international restrictions placed on North Korea.

Misconduct allegations

Ukraine’s deputy prosecutor general told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the country has created a registry to track cases of sexual violence allegedly committed by Russian troops.

Viktoriia Litvinova said the country has logged 303 cases of alleged sexual violence since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. Of the 303 reports, 191 involved female victims and 112 involved male victims.

Government officials told AP that tracking sexual violence could allow victims to make claims for financial compensation in the future.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Ukrainian prosecutors accused Russian troops of beheading a Ukrainian service member in the Donetsk Region.

"While conducting aerial reconnaissance at one of the combat positions in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian military discovered a damaged armored vehicle of the Ukrainian Defense Forces. It contained the severed head of a Ukrainian defender," the office of Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin posted on social media.

Kostin’s office included a photo that reportedly showed the armored military vehicle with a blurred section where the severed head was located.

Prosecutors in Donestk also reported Tuesday that a Ukrainian man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for providing information about Ukrainian troops to Russian forces.

The man, a resident of Kostyantynivka near the front line, used the Telegram messenger service last May to inform Russia about Ukrainian troop and artillery movements, according to prosecutors.

Last year, the United Nations said Ukraine had launched more than 6,600 criminal cases against people for helping Russia since the war began.

Material from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse was used in this report.

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